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Leakage is a term freely used by Chamber of Commerce types to describe the amount of money that “leaks” from our market into surrounding markets and benefits their economy, but not ours. Measuring leakage is difficult, but not impossible, because some of it can be easily identified.
As we start our a new year, our Chamber of Commerce types or Main Street/Union County Development Association staff members have leakage information that is identified in almost every area of goods and services. Knowing that money is leaking out of our economy and where it is going is a first step in taking bold steps to plug the leaks with new stores, better service or whatever is feasible within the confines of good business practices and ability to make any kind of changes at all.
As a local business, The New Albany Gazette purchases every single business related item possible locally, even if it means paying a little more than what it might cost in Tupelo or Corinth. The newspaper encourages employees to patronize local businesses who do business with the newspaper. Newspapers have been practicing this doing-business at home for so long it is an unspoken and unwritten policy at every one of them.
Since doing business locally makes so much sense and is so beneficial to all involved, it would be easy to assume that everyone sees the same logic and puts it in to practice in their own business. Sadly, there are many businesses in our local economy who for small discounts and obviously exaggerated promises will abandon their fellow local businesses and spend local money in another economy.
Equally sad is that these businesses depend on the recirculation of money within the economy to fuel their sales and revenues. By pumping local dollars to other economies, marketing their wares to folks miles and miles away, these local businesses are damaging your business, their own businesses and the local economy which is all of us.
There is no suggestion that local businesses pay excessive prices or endure poor service from other local businesses just to support our economy, but there is a strong suggestion that for a fair price and acceptable service, local offerings are worth much more to our local economy than the small and fleeting discounts offered by out-of-town and sometimes out-of-state businesses.