How shopping local benefits communities


ATHENS, Ala. – One industry hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic was small, locally owned businesses and stores in North Alabama are still recovering.

Business owners in Athens told News 19 they are hopeful this holiday season will be a step in the right direction and that community members will choose to shop local.

The US Small Business Administration reports that when you spend $100 at a locally-owned business, $48 stays in the community. But, spend that same $100 at a large retailer and only $14 stays. They say the reason is small businesses are more likely to rely on other local businesses, which creates a chain reaction.

Athens Mayor, Ronnie Marks, said shopping small not only supports your neighbors, but also the city or town the store is located in.

“These guys are doing extremely well all around the square. We encourage people to come in and shop small businesses,” Marks said. “Sales tax is the heartbeat of all the cities and towns throughout the state of Alabama and that all starts with small businesses.”

Marks also added that many businesses in Athens were around in 2009 during the recession, so the pandemic was not the first time they had to fight to keep their doors open.

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