What's spent in the community stays in the community--well, at least 60 cents of every dollar, according to the Small Business Administration.
But there's more than the money we spend that merchants then spend buying goods and services from other businesses in town. There's the support they give to our schools and charities and the role they play in projects such as revitalizing downtown Del Mar or Fiesta del Sol.
And, of course, there's the sales tax generated to help cover the costs of local services.
When events such as the Del Mar Village Association's Sidewalk Sale last weekend or the Cedros merchants' Third Thursday gatherings are on the calendar, it's important that we support them. They're working together, and since we're part of the community, we should be doing our part too.
Don't just wander around and ogle the goodies or taste the free samples. Find a reason to buy something, even if it's just a birthday card or salad. You might even be surprised and find a great, unexpected deal that you can't live without.
Get to know what the shops have to offer so the next time you're looking for that special gift or a great place for a meal, you'll be able to "Shop Local."
Take advantage of the chance to get to know the proprietors. They have homes and families to support, too, and, who knows, they might just be your neighbors or have children in your son's or daughter's class.
Keep an eye open for fliers and news stories about these events and make a point of stopping by. Next up, on May 17, Flower Hill and the Solana Beach Art Association will present Arts in Bloom, showcasing not just local artists but the products and flavors of the Promenade.
It's a great excuse to see what's new at the local shops and celebrate the talent flourishing in our communities--from fine art to children's book art. The Book Works will host authors discussing gardening, publishing and cooking. The day wouldn't be complete without a harpist, classical guitar ensemble, Brazilian and Indian dance groups, and local student dancers.
Plan an outing. Take the family and introduce them to something beyond the typical mall experience.