Consumers who spend their shopping dollars in the local community are investing in the area, according to Emily Bivens, executive director of the Jamestown Area Chamber of Commerce.
"It is so important," she said. "Shopping local boosts sales tax collections in the community and boosts the local businesses that support the local community."
Jamestown currently has a 2.5% sales tax that is used to pay off the construction of the Two Rivers Activity Center, economic development through the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. and helps pay for city infrastructure like streets and water projects.
Since 2018, sales tax is charged on items purchased over the internet. That sales tax is based on the location of the buyer. Someone from outside Jamestown city limits, for example, would not pay the internet sales tax but would pay the Jamestown sales tax if they traveled to town to make the purchase.
Another benefit to shopping local is by supporting local businesses, those businesses are able to donate time and money to local community causes and groups. The types of causes and groups are endless and include uniforms for youth sports teams, benefits for injured or ill individuals or any other cause people group together to support.
"When groups are looking for assistance with community projects, these are the merchants they reach out to," said Connie Ova, CEO of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp.
Bivens said the support is quite often financial but can also be in the form of employees of the business attending games and fundraising events in the community.
"It helps," she said. "With internet spending, that money is out of the community."
Bivens said that the idea of promoting local business is not new. The chamber provides support to local businesses through information on economic development programs, sponsors events such as Buffalo Days which brings people into the community and providing networking opportunities for members to communicate about the local business climate.
"The chamber has been promoting shopping local ever since it started," Bivens said. "We really emphasize it now with the COVID-19 pandemic. We will be the first to tell you to shop local."