Shopping Local: The Best Way For Locals to Invest in the Community

Shopping Local: The Best Way For Locals to Invest in the Community Main Photo

16 Dec 2023


“If you can get it in Gainesville, shop Gainesville,” said Jennifer Shumate, Executive Director of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce. “We want to remind everyone to shop local first.” Shopping at small businesses in Gainesville will strengthen the positive trends to employment and economic growth experienced post-pandemic.

To encourage in-community shopping, the Chamber began its second annual Small Business Season on November 1st, running through the end of the Christmas season. The Chamber calls on the community to join the shop local initiative and buy from neighborhood businesses.  

Money Spent Shopping in Gainesville, Stays in Gainesville

“Local business is the backbone of our economy,” Shumate said in a November press release. Residents don’t need to make large investments or expensive purchases to bolster the local economy; everyday purchases at small businesses are enough to help the community flourish. Support for local businesses represents more than a vote of confidence for friends and neighbors; it’s an investment in the community that benefits everyone.  

Sustaining Flourishing Job Growth 

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that over 60% of new jobs in the United States are hired at local businesses. Gainesville’s unemployment rate quickly returned to its low levels following the COVID-19 pandemic, and small businesses are helping to maintain that trend today. 

Shumate and the Chamber “couldn’t be prouder of Gainesville’s economic recovery after the pandemic. It wouldn’t have been possible without our entrepreneurs’ determination to overcome unimaginable challenges, and they continue to function as a vital part of our economy.” Shopping local is critical in keeping this a reality—dollars spent supporting Gainesville businesses remain in local circulation. 

Local Businesses Give Back 

For every $100 spent in a local business, approximately two-thirds ($66) stays in local communities. Business owners employ local citizens, patronize other establishments, and generate taxes that fund roads, police and fire protection, parks, and other public services. Additionally, many of Gainesville’s four-hundred-plus businesses do everything possible to give back to their community. Common voluntary support initiatives include donations and sponsorships for local nonprofits, Gainesville Independent School District, and North Central Texas College (Local Education). “The Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce works hard bringing the community together by encouraging teamwork between businesses, local government, education, and non-profits,” said William Myers, Executive Director with Gainesville Economic Development Corporation. “Chamber staff, supporting businesses, and volunteers keep an extremely active event calendar promoting shopping local as well as networking, business development, and annual community events. We are fortunate to have a strong chamber of commerce.”

It Starts With Shoppers 

“To me, it really is a grass-roots campaign to get people back to shopping locally,” said Shumate. Each of the 430+ Gainesville businesses has something to offer shoppers, “from the boutiques to buying their tires,” during the holiday season. In addition to retailers, Shumate recommends personal service providers, small restaurants, and local artisans and craftsmen in need of support during the holiday season. 

The local establishments participating in the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business Season offer many unique, exciting products and services. The Chamber recommends shoppers set aside a portion of their shopping budgets for local businesses and use the opportunity to explore their community now and throughout the year. 

Interested Gainesville residents can learn more about the Chamber’s Initiatives and the international Small Business Season program by contacting Executive Director Jennifer Shumate at jshumate@gainesvillecofc.com.