As consumers we are presented with choices each and every day of our lives. It is extremely important to understand the impact buying locally has on your community. According to Local Works! for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remains in the local economy versus $43 remains in the local economy for non-locally owned businesses. When you shop at locally owned businesses, your money is recirculated over and over and creates up to 75 percent more tax revenue to your community and state.

Local businesses battle day in and day out to survive and manage their businesses on limited capital. Often times in small communities like ours, it’s our local super market or local restaurant fighting against a large chain or big-box retailer for survival. More times than not, it’s an online competitor with lower overhead and less tax liability who can supply products cheaper and on demand from your own home or office. No matter who the competitor is, if they are not local, your choice to spend money with them is making an impact on the community. It means less of our hard earned dollars are left to directly benefit schools, sports teams and fundraising for local charities.

Small communities have historically revolved around the health of their small businesses. Dozens of local business owners provide products and services in exchange for something, most commonly a currency. It’s not necessarily how much currency is being exchanged, but rather how quickly that currency is entered back into the local system. When local businesses buy supplies from local companies, the exchange of currency is immediately put back in the lifeblood of the community. However, when purchases flow away from local businesses, little sustaining economic benefit follow.

It’s long been known the more “local-buying” kept in a community the better for the community for everything from school systems to home values. For instance, a recent Small Business Administration Study finds residential neighborhoods, served by successful independent businesses, gained 50 percent more in home values than corporate or absentee alternatives.

As a small business owner, chamber member, and parent I do my best to direct my purchase decisions to the local Ahwatukee businesses. At CK’s Tavern and Grill we purchase from local suppliers whenever we can, and re-invest in local banks and fellow local business owners. The choice’s we make on a daily basis do make a difference. So, I encourage you to please support your local business whenever you can. Remember, it’s not only how much, but rather how fast the money is put back in the local community. Small purchases will add up and do keep the community thriving.

My family has owned and operated CK’s Tavern and Grill in this community for more than 10 years, and we intend to be here for many more years to come. We love this community, its people, and the local businesses. Let’s do our part to ensure the community we have grown to love, continues for decades to come. Hope to see you and your family in your local neighborhood places.

• Kendra Fleetwood is on the Board of Directors of the Ahwatukee Foothills Chamber of Commerce and is co-chair of the Red, White and Boom Fireworks Festival.

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