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Making your list and checking it twice, whether small store or big, shopping local is nice

Shopping local becomes easy and fun at the First Friday Art Walk, which is Dec. 4 this month in downtown Corpus Christi. Vendors, food trucks and live music join with local galleries and museums, for an evening of holiday celebration. PHoto courtesy Marina Arts District

Although Corpus Christi is the retail hub of the Coastal Bend, and even South Texas, it still loses sale-tax dollars to San Antonio and online shopping sites, especially during the holiday shopping season. The Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce wants to redirect those dollars back home.

“Every time someone shops somewhere else, it takes away a little bit of sales tax and a little bit of a job in our community,” chamber president Foster Edwards said. “Shopping locally trickles down and helps a lot of people."

Shopping locally, especially small businesses, helps create jobs and support the local economy, according to statistics from the Small Business Administration. Those figures show small businesses donate 250 percent more than larger businesses to nonprofits and community causes. If you spend $100 at a local small business, about $68 stays in the local economy.

Shopping in big chains and national stores helps small businesses, too, Foster said.

“People working at a Dillard’s or Academy or a chain restaurant are going to go to a local beauty shop, get a haircut, buy a car,” he said. “There’s a multiplier effect. It’s important to hold those jobs and keep those jobs in the community.”

Also, as the big stores move in, the shopping gets better and more people from across the area are drawn to Corpus Christi.

“It makes the city even more of a retail shopping center,” he said. “And when they come here to shop, they also eat, stay in local hotels, see local attractions.”

The best holiday lists are a mix of national retail stores and local shops, according to Foster.

“Many of the small businesses carry specialty items you can’t get at the big stores anyway,” he said. “It’s all good.”

One opportunity to shop creatively at home comes along this Friday at the First Friday ArtWalk downtown. Live music is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. with five different pands playing. For more information, check out the Marina Arts District website.

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