Leonardo McClarty, president of the DeKalb County Chamber of Commerce, said it is important for DeKalb County residents to shop local if they can, as a way to benefit the overall community.
“If there are goods and services they can acquire here during the holiday period, and even outside of the holiday period, then it can only help the county in terms of contributing to the county tax base,” he said.
Debbie Fuse, executive director of the Dunwoody Chamber of Commerce, agreed.
“The amount of money that comes back into your own economy within your city is much different than whenever you work with a larger, out-of-state business,” she said. “It generates more revenue back into your local economy by shopping local and shopping [at small businesses.]”
Both McClarty and Fuse said the local chambers have encouraged their members to shop amongst each other and patronize small businesses.
Fuse said visiting neighborhood stores is a way to connect residents with their local business community.
“A lot of times [residents] are not as familiar with some of the smaller businesses as they are with the big box stores,” she said. “[Shopping local] just encourages people to get familiar with the local businesses and then also the businesses get to know you personally. So it’s a win-win on both sides.”
Shopping local also helps the job market, McClarty said.
“Outside of just local revenues, this ensures local residents continue to keep working,” he said.
When local shops do not get enough business, it could force owners to reduce staff, scale back on hours or close shop. It is likely the employees affected would be local residents, McClarty said.