Column: Unite around our small businesses | Opinion

We love that the things we want are delivered to our doorstep. It is easy, and today it can also be very cheap. However, this convenience and “value” comes at a high cost. The cost of the community, local businesses and local jobs. As the holiday season approaches, now is a great time to shop local.

Columbia County is full of vibrant small businesses. These large local businesses range from retail stores, restaurants, and bars to professional services such as tattoo studios, insurance agencies, and graphic design firms. By taking the time to engage with local business owners and professionals, you support not only these business owners, but their employees and families as well.

Small Business Saturday is fast approaching, and that single day can have a disproportionate impact on the bottom line of our local small businesses, especially as we try to emerge from a business suppression pandemic. If you are unsure of what is available, the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is a fantastic resource.

Visit and you’ll find a directory of member businesses that we know will do a great job of meeting your shopping needs this holiday season. The Chamber of Commerce also hosts local businesses during the annual Holiday Gift Shop Bazaar on November 26 and 27, December 3 and 4, December 10 and 11, and December 17 and 18.

Let’s rally around our small businesses, their families, our neighbors and do our local holiday shopping this year.

Local businesses create more prosperous, connected and generally better-off communities through a wide range of measures. Much of our money is recycled back into our local economy when we buy from independent locally owned companies rather than national chains. This money is then used to shop at our friends’ businesses, help neighbors in need, or support another local retailer, strengthening the base of our entire community.

Here are a few reasons why we support local shopping.

1. Keep it unique – Unique businesses are an integral part of the distinctiveness of our place. This is what sets our community apart from a chain of stores that looks the same everywhere else.

2. Support our community – Local businesses give more per dollar of sales to nonprofits, events and local teams than national chains.

3. Buying local means more jobs – Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community provide the most jobs for residents. Let’s encourage more start-ups!

4. Service shines – Local businesses often hire people who have a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know their customers, customers and customers.

5. Stay local – Local businesses are owned by your friends and neighbors who live in this community, are less likely to leave and are more invested in the future of our community, just like you. For every dollar spent locally and at independent businesses, more per dollar stays in the community than when you shop at national chains or national online retailers.

Join the Chamber for some local shopping first this holiday season!

The South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce is located at 2194 Columbia Boulevard in St. Helens and can be reached at 503-397-0685.

See a Shop Local – Small Business Saturday special section in the November 24th edition o The Chronicle.

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