by Ken Kindley

We all know how much fun it is to shop in Lincoln County, but there’s more to it. The Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce is promoting a new slogan, “Shop Local - Shop Lincoln County.” The campaign outlines nine very important reasons to support our local businesses:

1. Protect local character and prosperity – By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain Lincoln County’s diversity and charm.

2. Community well-being – Locally owned businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors and contributing to local causes.

3. Local decision making – Local ownership means decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.

4. Keeping dollars in the local economy – Your money spent in local businesses has three times the impact on your community as money spent outside of Lincoln County. It creates jobs and funds more county services through sales tax. This supports neighborhood improvement; police, fire and ambulance services; cultural arts, parks and libraries; and promotes community development.

5. Jobs and wages – Local businesses create more jobs locally and, in some areas, provide better wages and benefits.

6. Entrepreneurship – Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and into the middle class.

7. Environmental sustainability – Local stores help to sustain a vibrant, town center, which helps reduce sprawl, automobile use, and environmental damage.

8. Competition – A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term.

9. Product diversity – A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based on their own interests and the needs of their customers, guarantees a broader range of product choices.

It is always tempting to drive out of Lincoln County to shop; however, think of all that can be gained if only we shopped local.

Ken Kindley is president of the Lincolnton-Lincoln County Chamber of Commerce.