Tis the season to be thankful and to consider ways in which to express that gratitude. I am grateful for so many things in my life…my beautiful wife, my wonderful girls, my rewarding job, my ability to communicate with loved ones near and far, and my community. With Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday behind us and Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanza ahead of us, I wanted to share some things about our community that we should all be thankful for, and suggest ways in which we can show our appreciation.
Falls Church is a wonderful place to live, work and play. The Little City has top rated schools, an impressively low crime rate, close proximity to our nation’s Capital, an award winning Farmer’s Market, an active arts community, a number of beautiful parks, a fascinating history, and an array of valuable services that residents pay extra for in other local jurisdictions. We are also the home of a vast array of small independently owned businesses including doctors’ offices, law firms, home repair and remodeling companies, real estate agents and agencies, accounting firms, financial advisors, physical therapists, personal trainers, wellness facilities, restaurants, nonprofits, entertainment venues, auto dealerships and repair services, and retailers.
I appreciate everything Falls Church offers and I show my appreciation by spending as much of my money locally as possible year-round. I also plan to focus my holiday gift shopping in Falls Church as well. I urge you to do so too.
For those of you who are gift shopping this time of year, please consider making your purchases locally. There are plenty of selfish reasons for doing so. You will save time. You will save money. You will save gas. And you will save yourself a lot of frustration!
Shopping locally not only benefits you, it benefits everyone in our community. Doing so generates tax revenue which supports our schools, our police force, our library, our streets, our parks, and all of the many services we receive. It also generates income to support our largely small business owners, many of whom are also our neighbors, who are then able to employ people, make additional purchases in the community, and support our schools and nonprofit organizations.
I have heard several people ask what Falls Church has to offer for those seeking presents for others. My response is always the same…Falls Church businesses offer something for everyone!
In Falls Church you can find birdhouses, sleds, vintage or locally made jewelry, craft beer, wine and wine accessories, personalized glassware, the latest kids toys and books, concert and theater tickets, luxury clothing, locally made functional art, holiday cards, gifts of wellness, edible treats, and more. Whether you are looking for gifts for children, athletes, health nuts, nature lovers, hosts/hostesses, foodies, fashionistas, art & theater devotees, music aficionados, anglophiles, pet lovers, people who prefer experiential gifts, or that certain someone who has everything, Falls Church has a number of shopping options for you. Don’t believe me? Flip through the Chamber directory at the end of the Little City Guide which was recently delivered to residences and businesses or visit the Falls Church Chamber’s website at www.FallsChurchChamber.org or via your mobile device at m.FallsChurchChamber.org.
Still not sold on why you should spend your money locally? Small businesses are the largest employer in the country. They are owned by people who are vested in our community and who are already contributing to it through tax revenue and support of our local nonprofit community. They also typically provide much better customer service because they care about the community and they employ people who do as well. And supporting them has a ripple effect – the more successful our local businesses are, the more attractive our community becomes to potential new businesses.
I believe so very strongly about supporting our local business community that I have been a member of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce for many years and have served as the Chairman of its Board of Directors for the last two years. It has been a great pleasure to do so as we strive to promote local business interests in order to foster economic prosperity and civic well-being in the greater Falls Church community. We advance this mission by supporting business and community growth and development, providing members with educational, marketing, and networking opportunities; advocating Chamber positions on critical business issues; and encouraging quality business ethics and community respect. Why do we do this? Because we believe that better business makes for a better Falls Church. We hope you agree and, more importantly, we hope that you too will spend locally to support our businesses and our community, not just through the holiday season, but year-round.
Michael Ankuma is Chairman of the Falls Church Chamber of Commerce.