BY ROBERT JUMPER
ONE FEATHER EDITOR
The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well in Cherokee. There are hundreds of businesses, many owned by EBCI tribal members. In the excitement of the tourist season, we sometimes forget that our business owners and commercial property owners are year-round residents and neighbors who depend on retail sales all year long.
Buying locally has benefits beyond supporting a local business owner. When you buy local, the levy that is collected goes directly back into your local economy. If you spend your dollars off Boundary, those tax dollars are spent in the municipality where the business resides. The levy in Cherokee benefits programs that serve tribal members.
Several of our Cherokee businesses are closed from November through April in conjunction with “tourist season”. With more local support, businesses can stay open later in the season and open earlier, potentially creating an environment for eventually being open year-round. The commerce of the tribe is growing and could continue to grow as we, the consumers, spend our dollars on Boundary.
Seemingly, little things go a long way towards the goal of increasing local business availability. For example, instead of going to another town to see a movie, visit our local theatre. Let’s shop for clothes in our Qualla Boundary, get the things we need for home improvement in our Cherokee hardware store and car service through local repair shops.
We enjoy great municipal and business services in Cherokee. We can sustain and support local business and our community services by being a buyer of local goods.