Small business shopping is big for the community

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Monday, July 15, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock/NBC at 7

RICHMOND COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -- It's Amazon Prime day and the online retailer's promising more than a million deals. Lots of people are shopping today but there are also dozens of local businesses offering deals too.

The taxes you pay for the local deals go back into your neighborhoods and with Amazon, they don't. The money goes to fixing roads all across the area.

If you shop in a store like Fireside Grills and Kitchens, one percent of the sales tax goes to fixing local roads. Store owners say it's great for the community.

During the week you can find Susan Lanier at her boutique in Surrey Center.

“We started in June of 1984 and we started up there at a red brick house it was on Berkman's Road behind a bank, Bankers First," said Susan Lanier, the owner of Susans.

For the past 35 years, she's run a successful store for women, making all her sales here locally.

“The ladies want to try on the things and look at them," said Lanier.

Susan isn't worried about competing with online retailers and neither is Greig McCully. He sells very little online but he has seen how online stores can affect business.

“I think people come into a store to touch and feel whatever they are going to buy and they often buy it online, they call it showrooming they do it while they are here," said Greig McCully, the owner of Fireside Kitchens and Grills

To combat showrooming, Greig price matches other retailers, winning local business. The best part is a small portion of the money you spend at local stores, like his, goes to fixing our roads with the one percent sales tax.

“We help support the community," said McCully.

Road projects like the widening of Berkman's Road and 15th street are examples of the tax at work.

Since 2013, it's generated almost $5 million.

“When people buy locally and it supports the local community it's obviously good for that community," said McCully.

While shopping online may be more convenient at times, shopping at these brick and mortar stores is good for all of us and it's safe to say they aren't going away anytime soon.

“I just love what I do, I love what I do," said Lanier.

So far the state has spent almost $2 million of the money collected from that one percent sales tax on road projects around here and as we know there are many more to come.