The "shop local" cause has a high-profile advocate this holiday season. South Dakota’s governor is encouraging people to do their last-minute shopping in communities across the state instead of with retailers outside of South Dakota.
Governor Dennis Daugaard is popping into different retail shops and restaurants in downtown Sioux Falls. He asks a local restauranteur what the best meal on the menu is. The owner says the governor can't go wrong.
Daugaard says he’s finished shopping for Christmas gifts in Pierre and in Sioux Falls.
"But I might be buying a little bit more for Linda," Daugaard says. "And, by the way, Linda, if you’re watching this, even if you’ve bought my gift, there’s still more to be bought that could benefit me, and I encourage you to shop and buy more for me, ideally."
The governor jokes, but he says shopping decisions have a real impact. Daugaard says purchasing gifts in towns across South Dakota supports local economies. He says Sioux Falls sales contribute significantly to state coffers.
"So whether people in South Dakota are shopping in their small-town store or they’re stopping in Sioux Falls, all those dollars are collected both for their local municipalities and for the state of South Dakota, and it’s those dollars that we use to support education and Medicaid for nursing homes and universities and other services that the state provides," Daugaard says.
Daugaard says shopping close to home also supports business owners who pay property taxes and employ people in the community.