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Here we are again… Time to gear up for everyone to head back to school.

And, we all know that going back to school comes along with some shopping So, as you’re making your shopping list of school supplies and new school clothes, remember to shop local. There are many reasons why you should.

  • Shopping local helps generate 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy compared to when shopping at a chain business.
  • When you spend $100 at an independent business, $68 of it stays locally.
  • Shopping local will help to save you travel time and money on gas.
  • Customer service is personalized when the business owner takes the time to get to know their local clientele.
  • Local businesses tend to offer unique, custom products.
  • Over 50 percent of the Unites States' working population is employed by a small business, and you may be one of those people.
  • Many local business owners help to invest back into a community that supports them, whether that be through volunteering, making donations, or community groups.
  • Charleston is a unique place to live and supporting our locally owned businesses helps to preserve that.
  • We are lucky enough to live in a community that supports young entrepreneurs through programs like ClassE. Spending your money in Charleston helps to inspire those looking to start up a new business locally.
  • There are 28.8 million small business in the United States, and I feel confident saying that Charleston has some of the best ones, owned and operated by some of the best people. When you support these individuals, you are helping to send their child to dance camp, pay for piano lessons, or even expand their business.

The Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce is here to help make shopping local easier. We continue to offer Choose Charleston Gift Checks that are redeemable at any Chamber member business. They work as a regular check and can be purchased for any amount at the Chamber office. The best part about purchasing and using a Choose Charleston Gift Check is that the money stays right here in the community.

For more information or to purchase a Gift Check, contact the Chamber at 217-345-7041 or stop by the Chamber office anytime Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. or Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Jordan Landeck is communication and event director for the Charleston Area Chamber of Commerce.

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