SPEND $25 ON THE 25TH: Pump money into the local economy

Spend $25 on the 25th.

It�s not much to ask. But the impact on the economy in Vermillion, by spending $25 locally, will be substantial.

Just by making a $25 purchase. Buy something you need, but have been putting off. Join a class. Take your significant other out to dinner.

You can get ideas of how to spend $25 locally by viewing the advertisements in  the June 21 Broadcaster and the June 24 Vermillion Plain Talk from businesses who are doing their part to help strengthen the city economically.

Open your wallet on June 25. You don�t need to go overboard. The sum of $25 certainly isn�t huge, but collectively it will make a difference in Vermillion. It will give a boost to local retailers, and that boost will only lead to more local purchases, and that will make our economy stronger.

So just how much impact can citizens make if they spend $25 on June 25 in Vermillion?

Well, if every one of the approximate11,400 residents of Clay County age 18 and over spent $25 in the city that day, it would pump $285,000 into the local economy.

Those dollars multiply as they spread to pay salaries, buy supplies, pay bills and advertise to attract new business. It gives more people money so they can buy homes and cars and clothes which give more people more jobs.

The �multiplier effect� � in other words, the economic impact of a locally spent dollar � varies from community to community. Randy Stuefen, professor emeritus of the economics department at USD, told the Plain Talk last year that a dollar spent locally in Vermillion likely will have nearly a 1.5 positive effect.

In other words, every $25 bill spent on June 25 will produce over $37.

�When you stop to think what a multiplier is, it�s how many times money is spent before it leaves town,� he said. �There are different multipliers, so when you get your hair cut, you pay the person to cut your hair, and that�s all labor, so then they have the money, and if they�re from Vermillion, they may spend some of that money at the local dentist and so on.�

�There are several different formulas � but the overriding thing that comes out of studying these different ratios and so forth, the overriding theme is, that money stays here,� said Steve Howe, executive director of the Vermillion Area Chamber of Commerce and Development Company. �The important thing is that the money is being spent locally, it�s going into local businesses� pockets that are paying local property taxes and paying employees in the community, and subsequently, those employees are spending locally, too.�

Bonnie Rowland, who has operated Raziel�s, a restaurant in downtown Vermillion, for nearly four years, knows firsthand the importance of spending locally to all retailers in Vermillion.

She is excited to be part of a Main Street business district that has blossomed in the last year with new restaurants that provide additional opportunities for all downtown retailers to prosper.

Rowland opens her business� doors every day to serve Vermillion residents, USD students, and visitors to the community, including many of those students� parents.

�Now that we have more restaurants downtown, I�m finding that the street is getting a bit busier down here,� she said. �It really does bring more people downtown, and I�m enjoying it.�

To remain successful, Vermillion businesses like Raziel�s must compete with more than just counterparts in the community to attract customers.

�Especially when we have Sioux City only a bit over 20 miles away one way, and Sioux Falls only about 50 miles north,� Rowland said. �It�s fun to keep people down here, coming to Vermillion and checking it out, and eating and shopping.

�They don�t have to go to Sioux Falls or Sioux City when they are passing through to find some fun stuff,� she said.

�Every dollar does matter that is spent locally,� Howe said. �From a �shop local� standpoint, there seems to be a perception at times that you can�t get what you need here. I hope promotions like the �spend $25 on the 25th� will get people out and looking at the stores, and they�ll be able to find what they need here in town.�

Rowland herself has discovered that Vermillion is the place to be to experience a wide range of different cuisine.

�I eat out a lot,� she said. �I�m forever going to our Mexican restaurant, or across the street, and you easily discover that you don�t have to go to Sioux Falls or Sioux City to get something good to eat, because we have everything right here.�

�When you find what you need here in town, it means you don�t have to jump in your car and drive 40 minutes to get what you need,� Howe said. �Just in gas alone, especially if you drive a pickup like me, a round trip to Sioux Falls is $25. It doesn�t make any sense to make that trip and spend that money to buy something there that you can buy locally.

�With the cost of transportation so high right now, you really should be looking local for those things that you need,� he said, �and when you start looking, you�re going to find more and more things that you didn�t realize were here.�

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