Finally, November has arrived and with it the anticipation of increased sales for local merchants. I can hear the collective, "Hurrahs!”
Perhaps we welcome November because it finally brings to an end this year’s brutal election season and the joy of finally having it in the rear-view mirror.
The level of uncertainly has decreased. We may or may not be happy with the outcomes of the election, but at least moving forward we know what we have, what to expect and what we have to work with. This renewed sense of certainty will boost the level of activity in our economy, new investments in businesses and job creation. That’s good news for us all.
Too much money has been sitting on the sidelines for too long, and we need to get that money back where it belongs — in the playing field we call our economy.
If gasoline fuels the engines that move our vehicles forward, then cash is the fuel that powers our economic engine that moves our economy forward.
The more cash that flows through our economic engine, the faster our economy moves forward.
Where we spend our money is critically important. We need to spend more locally.
I have friends who live and own businesses in on the Arizona side of Nogales and they talk about how local businesses struggle perpetually. Nogales is no charity case — there is a lot of wealth in that community and a constant flow of new money from outside sources generated by international trade and commerce.
Unfortunately, that new money does not exchange hands enough times locally as Nogales residents cross into Mexico to dine and get their dry cleaning done, and then travel to Tucson for shopping and entertainment.
Nogales is missing out on the multiplier effect.
The multiplier effect is caused when money recirculates in a local economy, and its economic impact multiplies each time that money is exchanged. It’s a ripple effect, and studies have shown that for every $100 spent in a local economy, about $45 is reinvested locally, further increasing economic activity and new business opportunities. The end results are big payoffs to local businesses, our local economy and our community as a whole.
There are a number of cities and towns across Arizona that have developed "shop local campaigns” to increase awareness and remind residents to shop local.
There is also Local First Arizona, a non-profit organization working to strengthen our state’s economy by supporting and celebrating the contributions of local businesses across the state.
One of their latest economic development projects that I just love is their Small Wonders Map.
It’s a collection of 60 locally owned businesses and events found in and between the University of Arizona Main Gate area and downtown Tucson. It’s a great piece, and I invite you to pick up a free copy of the Small Wonders Map at the offices of the Arizona Small Business Association in Crossroads Festival (see the address at the end of this column).
I encourage you to join me this holiday season and put the multiplier effect to work here in Tucson and Southern Arizona by shopping locally.
We have many locally owned businesses to choose from who are vested in our community and collectively leading the charge in our state’s recovery.
They deserve our support and are a pleasure to do business with.
Written by Jerry Bustamante. Jerry is senior vice president of public policy and oversees the Southern Arizona office of the Arizona Small Business Association, 4811 E. Grant Road, Suite 262, in Crossroads Festival, phone (520) 327-0222.
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