Shopping local is more than just convenient — it’s good for our economy. Which is the perfect reason to start your holiday shopping somewhere close to home. “Shopping local means supporting your community, friends, and neighbors,” said Josh Bridegroom, Downtown Program Manager for the City of Modesto. When you purchase goods and services from locally-owned businesses and local branches of corporations and franchises, your patronage benefits the community in a multitude of ways. And during the holiday season when people tend to spend more, buying local can have an even greater impact.
“Dollars generally cycle through the local economy at least a couple of times before they are exported by people shopping outside the city,” Bridegroom explained. “The more we choose to shop locally, the greater the number of times those dollars are recycled before going out of the city and the more wealth stays within our community. The more wealth stays within our community, the better our shops and services do, and the more opportunity they have to create value for customers, either through better offerings, expansion/physical improvements, or enhanced services. These things, in turn, draw more customers from outside the city, thereby importing dollars and generating new wealth.”
USA Today reported that, according to the research from Civic Economics, for every $100 you spend in a small business, $68 stays in your community; and when you spend $100 at a local branch of a chain store, $43 remains.
“Shopping local is a prime driver of our local economy and the funding of our local government to provide the services and infrastructure we all depend on,” noted Todd Falduti, Senior Manager at Vintage Faire Mall.
“Keep in mind that locally-owned franchises are locally-owned businesses. Aside from some fees to pay for marketing and support, these are just like any other local business. They are owned by your friends and neighbors, employ local workers, and the profits stay here.” While local sales tax revenues are important to every community, they’re especially vital to Modesto.
“Due to Proposition 13 and its subsequent enabling legislation, Modesto only receives 7 percent of the revenue generated from property taxes — far less than most cities,” Bridegroom reported.
“The rest of the revenue goes to the state and is reallocated. Consequently, Modesto relies heavily on sales tax generation to fund community services. The more we buy locally, the greater our city’s capacity to provide high service levels we all benefit from — well-maintained roads, nice landscaping, great police and fire service, beautiful parks, et cetera. Conversely, when we shop in other cities, we are bolstering their service levels at the expense of our own.”
By creating a successful local economy we can also attract new businesses to enter our market, provide the demand for existing businesses to expand, and encourage entrepreneurship. “National retailers look at market sales dynamics to determine where to place new stores,” Bridegroom confirmed. “The better our stores do, the more likely we are to attract a greater mix of retail offerings which expands our market reach. As more people look at Modesto as the place to shop, all of our local businesses stand to benefit.”
“When you shop at a brick and mortar business for products and services, the taxes you pay stay local rather than leaving the area,” Bridegroom added. “This isn’t always the case for online sales.”
It’s an issue that concerns Craig C. Lewis, commercial broker with Berkshire Hathaway Commercial Property Group. “I definitely think the trend is to buy online,” Lewis said. “If it adversely affects our local providers, the long term effect could be devastating.”Fortunately there are ways a business can maintain an effective online presence while continuing to encourage local, on-site spending.
“You can’t beat the in-person experience,” Falduti pointed out. “Smart retailers still know how to connect with their shoppers to keep them coming into the brick-and-mortar locations. They have also learned how to leverage the freedom and power of the online marketplace and use it to drive business into their stores through offers, free in-store pick-up, and other tools.”
Businesses in various Modesto locations have found success in banding together to promote local shopping. “In McHenry Village we have locally themed events like the Taste of McHenry Village that sells out every year,” said Ken McCall of Pacific Media Group, the advertising agency for McHenry Village and a staunch supporter of buying local. “Events like this get people here to visit a nice mix of merchants offering different products and services.”
Vintage Faire Mall hosts a wide array of events throughout the year and during the holiday season sponsors the Soroptimist Community Christmas Tree. There’s also a push to encourage business growth and amenities to make downtown Modesto more attractive for shoppers. “The city offers Downtown Economic Development Incentives for new businesses downtown,” Bridegroom said. “The Downtown Partnership develops cool amenities, such as artistic bike racks, parklets, and the outdoor ice skating rink, which will be on 11th and K Streets this winter. Also, the Downtown Partnership tries to support great, shop-local initiatives that occur downtown, like ModShop — an event showcasing existing brick and mortars as well as indie crafters on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.”
If you need some inspiration for shopping local this season, look no further. Not only is shopping local great for our economy, but it also offers more personal and artisan gift items. Don’t limit yourself to what’s here — use these as a springboard to your new favorite way to shop.
Twigs and Stems Floral Design | 429 McHenry Ave | 209.521.8944 | twigsandstems.com
Assortment of our almond products, dried fruit, nuggets, popcorn, and apricot pepper sauce. – $75
White Phalaenopsis Orchid, Beautiful White Phalaenopsis Orchid, makes a wonderful holiday gift. – $135
Silk Wreaths, Adorn your door with a beautiful silk wreath for fall and the holidays or year round, also available in fresh product. – $185-$350
Large Assortment of Vases and Pots Beautiful containers to hold fresh flowers, plants, or used as statement pieces. – $25 -$250
Stewart and Jasper Orchards | 1700 McHenry Ave. Ste. 58 | 209.577.6887 | stewartandjasper.com
Natural gemstone bracelets from local/world artists – $3.95 -$49.00
From Bling to Bliss in design and materials. – $3.95 – $119.95
Intrinsic Elements | 1214 J St. | 209.495.2242 | intrinsicelements.com
Candles from SOI and local/world artists – $0.45 to $36.95
Fresh Ideas Flower Co. | 1230 9th St. | 209.572.0287 | freshideasflowerco.com
For the month of December we will be promoting our DIY Flower Market that is definitely open to the public. Gift Cards For those that are tired of the same old coffee and smoothie gift cards, we will be selling gift cards to our store. The gift cards are good starting January 1, 2016. – $40-50