BY MELANIE BUCK –
Recognizing that small business is the backbone of the American economy, The Pulse is very proud to launch its fifth annual consecutive SHOP MENA FIRST campaign, designed specifically to showcase local businesses during the busiest shopping season of the year. “Shop Mena First is just that… we want to encourage everyone as they shop this holiday season to remember our local merchants who serve as the retail cornerstones in our community,” said LeAnn Dilbeck, who owns The Pulse with husband David. “Don’t minimize the importance of what is spent in your local community. If you can’t find it in Mena then, by all means, shop elsewhere, but I think when everyone truly looks at what is available right here in their own backyard, they might just be surprised at what is available!”SHOP MENA FIRST Holiday Shopping Guide
Dilbeck explained she attended a seminar back in 2010 with keynote speaker Erin Burnett, founder of the 3/50 Project, who explained that for every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. “That’s huge!” said Dilbeck, “As small independent business owners ourselves, we understand the challenges but the benefits far outweigh them.”
The 3/50 Project encourages everyone to select three locally owned independent businesses and spend at least $50 per month in those establishments. The impact if only half of the employed population did just that is a generation of $42.6 billion in revenue.
This Saturday will also mark the fifth annual SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY, a national initiative that Senator Dr. John Boozman also addressed in his weekly column. He stated, “This national initiative encourages support of our local businesses during the holiday season. SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY is a big business. Last year, shoppers spent $5.7 billion at locally owned shops and restaurants on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. That’s an increase of more than three percent from 2012.”
He continued, “Money spent in our small businesses gets reinvested in the community, draws attention to local merchants and could ultimately lead to more jobs. In this economy, small businesses have struggled and they need our support. By taking the small step of shopping locally this holiday season, we can make a big impact on our communities.”