The Local Life: Help area entrepreneurship - shop locally this season

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The Local Life: Help area entrepreneurship - shop locally this season

Voices from the Beaufort community
Blakely T. Williams
Published Monday, November 21, 2011   |  451 Words  |  

As we head into the busy holiday season, the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce knows that small businesses are the heart of our business community. While the chamber advocates for businesses to support fellow local businesses year-round, we are celebrating November as National Entrepreneurship Month.

One of the ways the chamber is recognizing this designation is through partnering with Main Street Beaufort, USA and the Beaufort County Black Chamber of Commerce to receive a resolution from Beaufort City Council recognizing Saturday as Small Business Saturday. The special day will encourage consumers, in a similar fashion to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to do their holiday shopping with the small businesses that are such a crucial part of our local economy. Small Business Saturday is a day to support the small businesses that fuel our economy and invigorate the community.

This resolution perfectly ties in with our annual Shop & Dine Local campaign, a partnership between the Beaufort chamber, Hilton Head Island-Bluffton Chamber of Commerce and The Beaufort Gazette and Island Packet. The campaign will be launching this week.

With a national focus on shopping during the holidays, you'll find that Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands offer an eclectic mix of shopping hot spots. For the art aficionado, Beaufort boasts many art galleries where you'll find a unique gift. Our region has a variety of boutique/gift shops and specialty shops offering one-of-a-kind gifts for the home, jewelry designed by local artists and an assortment of charming gifts with a personal touch. By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain our diversity and distinctive flavor.

Local ownership means important decisions are made by people who live in the community and who will feel the effects of those decisions. Dollars spent in locally owned businesses have a tremendous impact on our community. Local businesses make more local purchases, requiring less transportation. They also usually set up shop in town centers rather than on the fringe. This generally contributes to less sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, resource depletion and pollution.

The chamber encourages this initiative so that our local, living economy stays healthy and strong. Additionally we want our Beaufort region to continue to be its unique, wonderful self; so that our place, doesn't look like every place.

When shopping locally, the dollars spent stay in the community, simultaneously creating jobs, funding city services through sales tax, investing in neighborhood improvements and promoting community development. I hope you will join me in supporting our friends and neighbors by shopping locally this holiday season.

Blakely T. Williams is president of the Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce.