Other Voices: Shopping locally builds a stronger community | TheUnion.com

Other Voices: Shopping locally builds a stronger community

As we near the coming holiday season, the Nevada County business community is joining together in a new campaign to encourage local shopping.

Why are we doing this? It’s because the economic health of western Nevada County relies heavily upon the success of our retail businesses. We have seen studies showing that Nevada County residents are spending approximately 30 percent of their shopping dollars outside of the county. This “sales leakage” can be reduced. That’s why we’re asking you to consider shopping “Nevada County First.”

Are you looking for a new television or stereo system? You might be surprised at the sales and service offered by local merchants. Home improvement products? Our local specialists compete well on price and selection. Clothing? Check out our local shops; the choices might surprise you.

If you think about it, value is much more than a good price. Our sense of community, being part of these beautiful and historic small towns, knowing that your shopping dollar is employing your friends and neighbors — that’s value.

Community-based business supports United Way, Little League and many other nonprofit and youth activities that make our community a great place to live. And when you shop locally, the taxes you pay come back in the form of better roads and fire and police protection, to name just a few. We know that money spent here will circulate through the community. The local shopkeeper has employees. He might do business with a bookkeeper or accountant, electrician, plumber, printer, sign maker and insurance agent.

The diversity of local business in western Nevada County would be welcome in many small towns across America. You can find nearly everything here, including quality local art and wine. Those of us who value living here can help preserve the character and diversity of our local business. All we have to do is patronize them, give them a chance to show their stuff.

Imagine, for just a moment, life in Grass Valley and Nevada City without a healthy business climate. Empty streets. Boarded up stores. Fewer jobs. Where would we take our friends and visitors? What would happen to our tourist trade? How would our real estate values fare? How would we feel?

Extreme? Yes, but these things have happened in other towns. Go online and do a Google search under “shop local.” Here, you’ll find information on many of the challenges facing small towns all around the globe.

Local business is the foundation of Nevada County life. If each of us makes an effort to support our local business community, to “shop locally,” we can make a difference. We can ensure that Nevada County will remain a place where people want to live, work and play.


Mary Ann Mueller is president and CEO of the Grass Valley and Nevada County Chamber of Commerce. Cathy Whittlesey is executive manager of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.

Forum for local business

The local business community is encouraged to take part in a kickoff program of “Be Local-Buy Locally: Think Nevada County First.”

The educational forum for local business takes place from 7:30-9:30 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, at Sierra Cinemas, 840 East Main Street, in Grass Valley.

Several speakers will address subjects including a unified community message, customer service, economics and quality of life in Nevada County. Posters, decals, buttons and brochures will be available.

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