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Walterboro City Council Votes to Designate July as Independent Retailers Month

Walterboro, S.C. — On Tuesday, June 28, 2011, Walterboro Mayor Bill Young and the Walterboro City Council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution designating July as Independent Retailers Month.

“Independent Retailers Month provides a time to celebrate the independence of our community members and the entrepreneurial spirit represented by the core of local retailers who thrive here. As we celebrate Independent Retailers Month, we recognize that every citizen in Walterboro plays a part in the success of this city,” said Mayor Young.

The resolution, which demonstrates City Council’s support for local retailers, is built on the notion that local independent retailers help preserve the uniqueness of the community and give a sense of place. The core of independently-owned retailers gives back to the community in goods, services, time and talent. Further, the health of the local economy depends on community support of businesses owned by many friends and neighbors. Lastly, the City of Walterboro’s independent retailer owners and employees enrich community members’ shopping experiences with their knowledge, dedication and commitment to the community.

 As part of this initiative, the City of Walterboro is encouraging residents to “Keep Your Bucks in the Boro” with 10 reasons to support local retailers:

  1.  When purchases are made at local businesses, more money is kept in the community because local businesses purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other businesses, as well as the local tax base.
  2. More new jobs are created by local businesses. Small local businesses are the largest national employer and in Walterboro provide many new jobs to residents.
  3. Local, one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the city’s distinctive character, which continues to attract visitors. As Richard Moe, president of the National Historic Preservation Trust commented, “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.”
  4. Local business owners invest in the community. Local businesses are owned by people who live in the community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
  5. Customer service is emphasized. Local businesses often hire people with specific product expertise for enhanced customer service.
  6. Competition and diversity lead to more choices. A marketplace of many small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over time. A multitude of small businesses guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
  7. Reduced environmental impact. Local businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation. They tend to set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe.
  8. Public benefits far outweigh public costs. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment.
  9. Local retailers encourage and support investment in Walterboro. A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and their distinctive character.
  10. Community well-being is key. Local businesses build strong neighborhoods by sustaining communities, linking neighbors, and by contributing more to local causes.

With just a few simple steps, residents can make a difference in the following ways:

  • Commit to finding and patronizing a local business, whenever possible.
  • Dine at a local restaurant for a distinctive and personal dining experience.
  • When shopping online with out-of-state companies, the local economy does not benefit. Remember to check for local retailers who offer the same products, and sometimes even offer to deliver.
  • Tell your associates, family, and friends why it’s important to shop local. Every citizen has the chance to create community. Working together and supporting local retailers can help lead to a strong and vibrant Walterboro, creating a legacy for those who follow.

For more information on the program, contact Hank Amundson, economic development coordinator, at 843-549-0865, ext. 260, or at hankamundson@walterborosc.org.

Established in 1826, the City of Walterboro is hailed as the “front porch of the Lowcountry,” with its historic charm, plentiful natural resources and warm Southern hospitality. The area around the city, rich with forests and vast quantities of water, is also known as the gateway to the ACE Basin, one of the largest undeveloped estuaries on the East Coast. Centrally located between Charleston, Savannah, Hilton Head, and Columbia, the city is home to many historic buildings, antique stores, the Great Swamp Sanctuary and the S.C. Artisans Center, designated by the state’s legislature as the “Official South Carolina Folk Art and Craft Center.” In addition, the city is home to the largest general aviation airport in the state. Walterboro serves as the economic heart of Colleton County and maintains a small-town Americana atmosphere. For more information, call 843-549-2545 or visit www.walterborosc.org.

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