YORK — Each day, community members decide where to spend their money and the health of the local economy is decided by these choices.
Today is “Small Business Saturday,” a day when the community is encouraged to shop locally and seven representatives of York County businesses are encouraging locals to do just that.
To learn how money moves throughout the county, a dollar was followed through seven local businesses after choosing a local shop as a starting place. At each stop, a representative of the business spoke about their personal ideology of buying local.
The dollar’s journey began at Harvest Health and Coffee. Greg Lauterbach, downtown York business owner, knows what it takes to run a small business -- after all he’s been doing it for a decade. He began his business, which sells vitamins, herbs, organic coffee, natural body care and gifts, in Fremont 10 years ago. It came to York seven years ago.
Lauterbach said he enjoys being a small business owner for a variety of reasons, including the ability to do things on his own accord. He said local businesses are important for the town and its residents.
“It keeps us employed, our doors open and variety in town,” Lauterbach added.
He added that the most recent dollar he spent was at Espresso Coffee Being, a drive-through coffee shop owned and operated by Mary Young. The venue is located near the interstate off Lincoln Avenue.
Young said she has run Espresso Coffee Being for more than nine years and enjoys it immensely.
“It’s been very beneficial in a lot of ways,” Young said. “It’s been a really good experience.”
Young said the location of her shop draws in local and non-local business. This fact gives her the opportunity to interact with a variety of individuals such as Tracy Dye of J & T Creations in Waco.
Young recently purchased a deco mesh wreath from Dye. Dye and her friend, Jeanne Taylor, started making wreaths last May. Taylor and Dye’s first wreath was a Mother’s Day gift for Taylor’s mom who resides in a care home. The wreath was a hit and J & T Creations sprang up from it.
She said business is spreading in a variety of ways, including word of mouth.
“They’re helping me,” Dye said. “When one person buys a wreath, they display it and somebody notices and buys one too. They are helping me improve my business.”
Dye is a firm believer in shopping local.
“It’s nice to keep the money close,” Dye said. “They’re our neighbors and our friends.”
Dye said her last dollar was spent back in York at Ginny’s Hallmark when purchasing a birthday card. Jean Siebert is the venue’s manager and said the store, which sells a variety of products, is doing well in downtown York.
She said one of the many upsides to shopping locally is proximity.
“It’s nice not having to drive out of town to find what you need,” Siebert said. “Keeping business in town is good for York.”
Her last purchase in town was at Bag ‘N’ Save where Brandon Johnson is a manager. The venue is one of many in York distributing grocery items. Even though it may be considered a big-box chain store, it is still located in York and its employees understand why it is important to shop local.
“So the money stays in town,” Johnson said.
The last dollar Johnson spent was at Maurices, considered another local chain store. Shelby Pariset, full-time assistant manager of the venue that sells contemporary attire, said she understands why it is important for people to shop local.
“I think it’s important because you want people to stay here, because if we don’t continue bringing business here and building new businesses here, people won’t stay here,” Pariset said.
Her last local dollar, and the last stop on the dollar-tracking journey, was spent at the Yorkshire Playhouse. The playhouse is currently in the midst of “GI Holiday Jukebox,” a show that will be performed next week Thursday-Friday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 8, at 2 p.m.
The show is directed by Todd Kirshenbaum, who said the show will be performed as if the audience has been transported back to December of 1942 to watch a live radio show. Great holiday music from the 1940s plus a visit from a famous husband and wife comedy team, Madonna and Ron Mogul Jr., will be a part of the show.
“The fun thing about this is we’re featuring local people who are reading from actual ads found in the local newspaper from the 1940s,” Kirshenbaum said.
He said local people are the ones who support local programs such as plays at the Yorkshire Playhouse. Kirshenbaum said having Interstate 80 so close to York brings in business, but it is ultimately up to the community to keep the local economy going.
“If more people would give our local businesses a shot, it would make a big difference,” Kirshenbaum added.
ESPRESSO COFFEE BEING: MARY YOUNG
Having her own business “has been very beneficial in a lot of ways. It’s been a good experience.” The most recent dollar she spent was for a deco mesh wreath.
HARVEST HEALTH: GREG LAUTERBACH
The dollar’s journey begins here. “Shopping locally keeps us employed, our doors open and variety in town.” The most recent dollar he spent was for coffee.
J & T CREATIONS: TRACY DYE
“It’s nice to keep the money close – (local business owners) are our neighbors and our friends.” The most recent dollar she spent was for a birthday card.
GINNY’S HALLMARK: JEAN SIEBERT
“It’s nice not having to drive out of town to find what you need. Keeping business in town is good for York.” The most recent purchase she made was for groceries.
BAG ‘N’ SAVE: BRANDON JOHNSON
“It’s important to shop local, so the money stays in town.” The most recent purchase he made was for a clothing item.
MAURICES: SHELBY PARISET
Shopping local “is important because you want people to stay here. If we don’t continue bringing business here and building new businesses here, people won’t stay here.” Her most recent dollars spent were for tickets to a live theatrical production.
TODD KIRSHENBAUM: YORKSHIRE PLAYHOUSE
“If more people would give our local businesses a shot, it would make a big difference.”