The Money You Spend Here Really Does Stay Here

By Matthew O’Rourke, Economic Division Manager at the City of St. Charles, morourke@stcharlesil.gov

As a resident, city employee and parent of a D303 student, I wanted to begin with a heartfelt statement about St. Charles: We are such a great community made up of wonderful businesses, destinations, employers, schools and public servants. But sometimes I feel because we do have it so great here, it’s easy to take things for granted and overlook some of the finer points of our city.

Think about this, you could live your whole life and get everything you ever needed without ever having to leave our city limits. That’s right. It’s possible to work, live, purchase clothing, food, automobiles, furniture, electronics, phones, etc., all within St. Charles. Don’t believe me? Check out the list on the City’s website of 1750 businesses to choose from here in St. Charles and you will see what I mean.

We’ve all heard the benefits of shopping locally. But here’s a refresher of a few interesting facts:

  • This USA Today article lists higher property values sparked by a lively business sector, strengthened community and local job creation as some of the benefits of shopping local.
  • According to Forbes, small business is – quite frankly – big business. The Small Business Administrationidentified that there are more than 28.2 million businesses operating in the United States as of March 2014, with about 63% of new jobs being created from small businesses between 1993 and mid-2013.
  • Shopping local is about more than just keeping local businesses healthy. What’s bought in St. Charles literally stays in St. Charles. The sales taxes from your local purchases support our police and fire departments in keeping you safe and our public works services in paving, plowing and maintaining our streets. According to the research firm Civic Economics, for every $100 you spend in a local small business, $68 stays in your community. Even when you shop at a local branch of a national chain store, $43 remains in St. Charles.  When you shop online, virtually no money stays local.

With this in mind, we want to create a “consider St. Charles businesses first” mindset.  Whenever you want to dine out, need to get your car serviced, buy a TV, it’s important to Think St. Charles and consider if there is St. Charles option that can accommodate your purchase.

We are also aware of the comments in the community regarding the desire to attract more shopping/dining options in all categories.  I want you to know that we hear you and are actively working to be sure businesses looking to locate in the area also Think St. Charles.  You too can help us with this effort.  Retailers use purchasing data to aid in their location decisions. The more you Think St. Charles for your purchases, the more other retailers will notice, which will only help us attract more of them to the tremendous market potential here is St. Charles.

I also want you to know that I believe in these sentiments.  In fact, my family and I moved to St. Charles 6 years ago, after I started working here and discovered how great it is to call St. Charles home.  If you love St. Charles as much as my family and I do, you’ll find it’s easy to Think St. Charles.