27
Nov 15
Go Local for the Holidays

The average American will spend an estimated $805 on gifts, decorations and other festive items
throughout the 2015 holiday season. As we make our shopping lists and check them twice, let’s
plan to spend some of our holiday budget in our own neighborhood.
Many locally owned and operated small businesses right here in Benton County are
decking the halls and offering exceptional products and services that are unique to our area.
Some of these entrepreneurs provide one-of-a-kind items that you can only find in person at their
stores. By doing your shopping at these unique small businesses in our area, you are supporting
locally owned and funded ventures and reinvesting your money in your own community.
Entrepreneurship is thriving, particularly among younger generations. A 2014 Independent
Community Bankers of America study found that 36 percent of millennials want to start their
own business, with 62 percent planning to do so in the next two years. Fortunately, these and
other small businesses in Benton County and communities across the country can rely on
loans from local community banks to grow and support local jobs. In fact, community banks
with less than $10 billion in assets provide more than 50 percent of small business loans less than
$1 million even though they make up less than 20 percent of the banking industry’s assets.
As a proud resident of Benton County and a local community banker at Farmers Bank,
supporting small businesses is second nature. Shopping at a store on Main Street or eating a
holiday treat at the mom-and-pop diner down the road is part of my holiday tradition. We are all
part of the local economy, and everyone’s support is necessary to keep it vibrant, thriving and
growing. Farmers Bank and the more than 6,000 other community banks across the nation
serve the country’s estimated 28 million small businesses year-round by making loans and
handling their financial needs.
Our nation’s small businesses help create jobs, increase economic stability and often provide
locally made items to their neighbors. These small businesses sustain Main Street and help keep
local money right here in our community. By going local for the holidays, you can make a huge
difference in the economy by putting dollars back to work close to home.
Plan to make spirits bright on Main Street this holiday season by shopping, dining and banking
locally and supporting small businesses in “Benton County. Our local economy will thank
you.
To learn more about how you can “go local” this holiday season and throughout the year, visit
www.icba.org/golocal or follow the hashtag #GoLocalHolidays.

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