What happens when your dollars go back into your West Fel community
Small businesses are the lifeblood of our region, and as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to ripple throughout our community, the impact of shopping local is even greater.
Supporting neighborhood small businesses helps economies to grow and thrive; when you spend your money locally, as opposed to at big box commercial retailers, or online through vendors like Amazon, significantly more of your money goes back into the community—where it can do the most good.
Local Shopping: A Win-Win for Everyone
Every time a dollar is spent locally, tax revenue on that purchase helps provide the funds needed to build new infrastructure, make school improvements, and support police, fire, and healthcare services. Local examples include the greatly expanded West Feliciana Hospital campus that opened in 2017, the new upgrades coming to parish's roads and bridges, as well as the town's sewer system. A robust local economy builds a larger tax base, which in turn brings better infrastructure and stronger schools—all factors that contribute to high property values. It’s a win-win all around.
“The West Feliciana Chamber’s goal is to educate the community on the benefit of local spending to ensure that the businesses, merchants, and artisans in our parish prosper,” says West Feliciana Chamber of Commerce President Ranee Rogers Voorhies. Voorhies is the owner of Regal Consulting, an advertising and marketing consulting firm in St. Francisville.
“We want to help break the habit formed during the pandemic of ordering online from Amazon and big box stores,” Voorhies says, “and to encourage people to be more cognizant of shopping locally whenever and wherever possible.”
In response to the economic turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the Chamber doubled down on its "Love Local" campaign, encouraging residents and visitors to shop and spend their dollars at West Feliciana businesses as much as possible, as well as informing community members on all the ways they could support their favorite businesses.
Local Spending Stays Local
According to estimates provided by West Feliciana Parish President Kenny Havard, for every $100 spent in West Feliciana, $46 is recirculated back into the local economy and $25 is invested into our local schools.
Additionally, just a 5% increase in local consumer spending leads to the creation of 100 local jobs, and translates to $1,000 more in wages going to local workers annually. Just by shopping local, you're helping create more job growth, improve the parish economy, and ensuring our school district remains one of the top in the state.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again—Bank of St. Francisville’s mission is to serve our community by investing in the people and businesses who choose to make it their home. During the height of the pandemic, we helped administer emergency funding from the SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program for 201 loans.
“Being able to serve our neighbors through a crisis that hit home really shows the difference that relationship banking can make,” says BSF President and CEO Carter Leak IV. “That’s what community is all about.”
Interested in learning about other family businesses BSF has been a part of, including popular retail newcomers like Vintage Hive, District Mercantile, and Away Down South? Click here to read more. To get more local success stories like these in your inbox, sign up for our monthly e-newsletter here.