Orleans Chamber Encouraging Residents To Support Hometown Businesses First

(ORLEANS) – The Orleans Chamber of Commerce is encouraging local residents to Buy Local and support our Hometown Orleans merchants and business owners first whenever possible.

Officials say buying local supports the independent one-of-a-kind business that makes up the heart of the neighborhood. It keeps money in the community and helps builds a strong thriving economy.

A number of hometown specialty shops and merchants will be open for the upcoming Small Business Saturday being sponsored by the Orleans Chamber. The event is Saturday, November 30th with offerings of surprises, specials, holiday décor, and gift ideas.

Non-profits receive an average of 350% more support from local business owners than from non-locally owned businesses. Local neighborhood businesses need comparatively less infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

Orleans Chamber Executive Director Robert Henderson said, “The upcoming holiday season is an excellent opportunity to Buy Local and spend holiday dollars in businesses that are unique to the local community.” 

Henderson asks you to support the local merchants that you know and trust.

Orleans Chamber Executive Robert Henderson

“Local, independent businesses are your best value. Local businesses are owned by people you know who work here, eat here, live here, and are invested in our future. Local businesses offer greater loyalty to their employees and customers,” he added.

Local businesses are usually set up in a “downtown” area instead of setting up shop on the fringe of town. Having an active downtown creates a sense of place, creates less sprawl, congestion, and habitat loss. Another benefit of the downtown setting is the convenience of one-stop shopping. You park, walk into the business, chat with the shop owner then walk on to a neighboring shop. When you Buy Local you get some much-needed exercise. Another plus is visiting with friends and other shoppers looking for a bargain, creating a sense of community.

“Where we shop, where we eat, buy gas, get our hair cut and live, etc. really does make our neighborhood home,” Henderson said.  As opposed to large chain stores, one-of-a-kind businesses are real. They define a community without changing the community’s character. Local businesses hire people who have a good understanding of the products they sell and make an effort to get to know the customers.

Another benefit of the Buy Local Program is in the energy savings. Shopping at nearby stores as opposed to driving to the next county saves not only gasoline but time and personal energy as well. You can drop by the hometown stores and be back home in front of the fire with hot chocolate or coffee before you could drive to a neighboring county, locate the appropriate big chain store, find a parking spot, find the item in the store, stand in line at the check-out, then drive back home, possibly stopping for gas on the way.

According to a study of local vs. chain stores, for every $100 spent at a local business, $45 goes back into the community and local tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store only $14 comes back to the community (Sources: The Economic Impact of Locally Owned Businesses vs. Chains; A case Study in Mid-Coast Maine, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance and Friends of Mid-Coast Maine, and Economic Impact Analysis: A Case Study, Civic Economics) . Do the math. That’s nearly 3 times more money back to the community. Multiply that by the number of shoppers in town, and… viola! A healthy local economy.  

If a local business is thriving it will hire more employees. More employees mean more disposable income. More disposable income means more sales. More sales mean more money. More money means more taxes. More taxes mean a stronger local economy. A strong local economy means increased advertising, secure property values, and well-funded schools.  People are more likely to move into a community that is economically secure, preserves its character and has a unique attitude. 

For more information on the Orleans Chamber’s Buy Local Campaign please contact the Chamber Office, 812-865-9930.  This year marks the Chamber’s 75th Anniversary of serving the Orleans Business Community.