Shopping locally is a big deal. By shopping in our Galveston County community, we are not only helping our friends and neighbors’ businesses succeed, but are also helping drive local tax revenue collections. Simply said, if you care about your community, you’ll make every effort to shop locally first.

That being said, isn’t it reasonable to expect the same from candidates running for public office?

Earlier this week, Gina Spagnola of the Galveston Chamber of Commerce raised this very question — and it was a darn good one. If local candidates are drumming up local funding support or asking for your vote, shouldn’t you expect them to spend their money locally? After all, aren’t a good number of these very voters also business owners or aren’t their jobs dependent on local employers?

There is something known in economics as the multiplier effect. According to many academic studies, $200 spent in a local economy can create a ripple impact of upward of $500. Included in that ripple is the initial order for raw goods, the employee’s wages, taxes paid, profits reinvested — even the employee stopping by the local grocery store on the way home. A purchase made with an out-of-town firm is essentially a hollow purchase for goods or services — the multiplier effect now taken out of the equation.

So, next time you drive past a large sign soliciting your vote, ask yourself where that sign was printed. Or, next time you see a mailer in your mailbox, feel free to wonder if it was printed with a local printer within our community. Are candidates shopping locally first?

By all means, everyone should make the best decisions when purchasing goods and services. But making a good decision many times is a balance. The lowest price can many times overlook the benefits of how the multiplier effect ripples throughout our local community.

We would encourage all candidates to look locally first for competitive prices and services before sending their money outside the borders of Galveston County – just like we’d expect them to do with our tax dollars.

Our suggestion to local candidates would be: We hope you’d spend the money on your campaign in the community where you’re running for office. If not, at least in Galveston County. And if that’s not possible, we hope to Sam Houston you can at least spend it in Texas.

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