And, when the economy is struggling, consumers become even more powerful, as businesses seek to keep regular customers and attract new ones.
We believe the Griffin First Fridays Downtown initiative, launched by the Griffin Downtown Council and the Griffin Main Street Program, helps make consumers aware of their impact on local businesses.
Downtown businesses that participate in First Fridays will remain open later than usual on the first Friday of the month. The businesses may also offer specials and promotions.
Main Street Program Director Kira Harris-Braggs said First Fridays “is an effort to bring people downtown to satisfy their shopping needs, their dining needs and also to be able to take advantage of the services available downtown.”
The Griffin Main Street Program is also promoting the 3/50 Project in which consumers are asked to think of three independently owned business they would miss if the businesses were gone.
“We ask that people think about trying to spend at least $50 per month in one of these independently owned stores,” Harris-Braggs said.
According to Harris-Braggs, for every $100 spent in independently owned stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures. The same $100 spent in a nationally owned store generates a $43 return for the community, she said.
The message from the Main Street Program is a timely one, as the competition for holiday shoppers heats up. While large, national chains are a vital part of the nation’s economic engine, smaller independent stores often are the key to having a thriving downtown area.
We urge local consumers to use their clout wisely. Successful local businesses are good for downtown Griffin, and a strong downtown is good for all of Spalding County.
THE GRIFFIN DAILY NEWS