Economists and retail trade groups predict stronger holiday sales than past years. We urge consumers to spend their dollars wisely, and Shop Local!

Projections for increased holiday spending this year is based on "considerable momentum" in consumer spending during the weeks leading up to November and December. The National Retail Federation forecasts holiday sales this year will increase 8.5% and 10.5% from 2020 totals to an amount ranging between $843.4 billion and $859 billion.

Shopping locally is important in Oklahoma, where local governments rely on the revenue generated by municipal and county sales taxes to provide essential services. Safe streets, police and fire protection — those are just a few examples of the services supported by local sales tax collections. 

Shopping local — spending money at locally owned small businesses — is an investment in the community and its future. Its an investment strengthen local economies, creates greater choice, shapes a community's character, and helps the environment. 

Studies show "independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors" to local economies. That is result of the multiplier effect of local spending as consumers and merchants repeat the exchange of those dollars for new goods and services. 

Shopping locally demonstrates a level of support that gives merchants the confidence to provide the products they know will meet demands of local market. Because local merchants often are friends or neighbors, the incentive for providing customers with good service is elevated — that is matched by their expertise and level of knowledge about the merchandise they sell.

The interdependence of consumers and merchants produces a camaraderie that makes communities stronger. This unity shapes a community's character and promotes philanthropic support from thriving local businesses.

Small Business Saturday, which follows Black Friday following Thanksgiving, was founded in 2010 by American Express to help strengthen local economies that were rocked by a global financial meltdown in 2008. That has evolved during the past decade to become a Shop Small Movement. 

The movement was bolstered during the past 19 months inadvertently by a global pandemic that kept people close to home. Recent reports of municipal sales tax revenue appear to show residents continue to support local merchants — we hope that trend continues through the holiday season, into the new year and beyond. 

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