Adding more retail businesses to Jamestown and the jobs that would bring can be aided by residents shopping the existing businesses in the community, according to Connie Ova, CEO of Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.

"People always want more retail in Jamestown," she said, "but the public needs to support the local businesses to make that happen."

The economic activity generated by shopping local supports the community in a number of ways. Along with potentially allowing new businesses to enter the community, it keeps existing businesses, and their employees, going.

"Shopping local keeps people hired," Ova said. "It keeps people in jobs."

When the local employees of a local business also shop in the community, the money that is initially spent ends up being spent several times within the community supporting other businesses and employees, said Emily Bivens, executive director of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.

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"There is no standard multiplier, it varies from business to business," she said, "but on a national average, 45% of money spent in a community stays in the community."

Bivens said this is one of the advantages of shopping locally as opposed to purchasing items through internet sellers. She notes that some local businesses do have an internet presence and shopping on those sites still supports the local community. Her biggest concern is with the sales by internet companies that do not have local stores in the community.

"If the company doesn't have a local presence," she said, "that money does not come back to the community."

That issue has become especially important during the coronavirus pandemic.

"Internet spending is money that is out of the community," Bivens said.

Money that has left the community does not support new jobs or even maintaining existing jobs in the Jamestown area, Ova said.