Shop local often to support Charleston economy, community

November 18, 2017

According to a study performed by Garrett Martin and Amar Patel for the Maine Center for Economic Policy, every $100 spent at locally owned businesses contributes an additional $58 to the local economy. By comparison, $100 spent at a chain store yields just $33 in local economic impact.

By Chuck Hamsher For the Sunday Gazette-Mail

With the busiest shopping season of the year now upon us, folks will be purchasing many items as gifts, as well as things for their own homes. While it is now certainly possible to sit and do much of that shopping online, consider first giving your locally owned small businesses an opportunity.

We understand the allure of online shopping, and our business originally grew from an online presence to also include brick-and-mortar retail. There are also downsides to buying online, but, more importantly, there are huge benefits from shopping small and shopping local.

Spending your money at a local small business keeps dollars in the local economy. That translates into support for schools, police, fire and other essential government services with tax revenue from small businesses. It means local employment and an overall better quality of life in your community. Shopping local small businesses means you are dealing face-to-face with people you know. In case an issue arises with your purchase, you likely won’t be left listening to bad music while waiting to discuss that problem on a help line.

According to a study performed by Garrett Martin and Amar Patel for the Maine Center for Economic Policy, every $100 spent at locally owned businesses contributes an additional $58 to the local economy. By comparison, $100 spent at a chain store yields just $33 in local economic impact.

But, all of this aside, shopping locally owned businesses for home furnishings and accessories is fun and offers you an opportunity find special items.

We are proud to be part of a growing and vibrant community of shops, restaurants and small businesses in downtown Charleston. The folks who own, manage and operate these businesses have faced some very real challenges the past few years and have persevered, largely because of their commitment to improving the quality of life in West Virginia.

If you are in the market for gifts or for items for your home, there is much to be found in downtown Charleston.

The Art Emporium, at the corner of Quarrier and Hale streets, presents wonderful pieces by West Virginia artists and craftspeople, in addition to framing services. With a new show regularly and a varied assortment of decorative items, The Art Emporium is one of the anchor stores for the monthly ArtWalk.

Stray Dog Antiques, at 219 Hale St., is close to our hearts with their love of antique and vintage items. One of Charleston’s most eclectic stores, we never visit without finding something unique that puts a smile on our faces.

Collage is a small but mighty boutique located 805 Quarrier St., and you never know quite what you will find. Everything from quirky, vintage furniture pieces to pottery, glass and art are available, and owner Jamie Miller will be there to greet you with smile.

Oddbird Gift Emporium features some of the cutest small decorative items. With an eye for the unique and humorous, this shop is perfect for those hard-to-shop-for folks on your holiday gift list.

Of course, our shop, The Purple Moon, is a great place to find new custom-upholstered furnishings, as well as vintage pieces for your home. Now entering our 13th year downtown and 15th year in business, it continues to be our pleasure to assist folks who want to add a modern twist to their living space.

The list could go on and on, but suffice it to say, by shopping locally for home furnishings, accessories and art, you can add comfort and style while supporting the local community. Nov. 25 is the annual Small Business Saturday and would be a great time to stop in one or several local businesses. Do some shopping, have a meal at a locally owned restaurant and enjoy what our community has to offer.

We are sure you will come back.

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