Why Selma is better than Montgomery

Published 8:37 pm Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I think everyone has heard that shopping local is better but I have never met so many people dedicated to a local lifestyle until I moved to Selma. So many Selmians encourage shopping at local grocery stores and going to the movies here at the Selma Walton Theater. My column two weeks ago was about how doing a civic duty here in Selma just requires you to shop at local boutiques for clothes and gifts, go to the movies and go and grab some ice cream and treats. It seems way too fun to be true.

But this Christmas I have realized that I can buy all of my gifts for family members here in town without ever having to leave.

I saw a blog about small business that said, “Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependant on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs,” Michael H. Shuman, author of “Going Local.”

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When deciding to not travel to Montgomery you are doing so many things. I totally understand the lure of Target and specialty stores like Williams Sonoma at the mall, but when we spend dollars locally we are putting money into local departments like the Dallas County School System, we fund our police and fire officers and we put money into funds that widen and repave our roads.

When you chose to buy a sweater at Allez-Oup on Broad Street instead of going to T.J.Maxx in Montgomery you are also putting a social investment in Selma, providing more in the bucket for local donations and community growth.

When you leave Selma and choose to shop at Barnes & Noble in Montgomery instead of One Way Christian Bookstore you are spending more money on gas and pumping more pollutants into the air.

For every $100 spent in the city, $73 of those dollars stay in the local economy and build up the city. For every $100 spent outside of the city in places like Montgomery and Birmingham, only $43 will stay in the local economy while $57 will leave and go elsewhere.

Director of the Chamber of Commerce Sheryl Smedley told me that she has found a way for the last several years to buy each Christmas present on her list here in Selma without ever having to leave.

I am nervous about shopping locally for Christmas for everyone on my list, and just shopping in general.

As a young college graduate it will be tough to buy my family members something nice but after window-shopping down Broad Street I am confident there is something for everyone here.