For better or worse, online sales impact the local economy. That fact is easy to brush aside, unless it begins to impact you and your business directly.

If you own a business in Putnam County, you may not realize it yet, but you are experiencing the effects of online sales.

It can be difficult to pinpoint the specific ways in which online sales affect the county’s local economy and businesses. Here, however, is a brief look at what we do know. 

Putnam County could lose about $1,000,000 in taxes every year.

As mentioned in our previous article about the impact of online sales on the local economy, these purchases result in fewer taxes going to the state, county, and towns. 

Putnam County is no exception. In fact, the county could be losing close to a million dollars in sales tax alone every year because of online purchases. 

Putnam County’s population, according to the Census Bureau, is about 37,500. This means the county is home to about half a percent of Indiana’s total population. According to the University of Tennessee, the state lost a total of $195 million in sales taxes in 2012 because of online sales. 

If Putnam County accounts for half a percent of that number, it was responsible for the loss of $975,000 in online sales that year. 

Specific numbers can fluctuate.

This number, of course, can fluctuate. Indiana’s law (passed in 2017) requiring certain online retailers to collect sales tax, for example, may reduce this number. However, online sales have increased exponentially since 2012, meaning that the money lost to these sales has likely increased. 

Regardless of fluctuations in the exact amount of money lost to online sales, the reality is that Putnam County is affected by these losses. However, the reality is that the county will generally account for about half a percent of sales tax losses in the state.

Sales tax isn’t the only economic impact from online sales.

The loss of sales tax isn’t the only economic impact that online sales can have on the county. There are other ways that these sales influence the county’s economy. Here are a few of these impacts:

  • Less job creation as businesses who lose money to online sales lack money to hire employees
  • Slower economic growth thanks to money going to national retailers instead of local businesses

Sales losses in Putnam County can be minimized.

These impacts on Putnam County can be mitigated. Online sales do not have to be all bad news. Here are two ways to turn their negative impact into a positive one.

Putnam County businesses can go online.

The best way for Putnam County businesses to combat the effects of online sales is for them to create their own online presence. 

With a local online presence, consumers can enjoy the convenience of online shopping, while local businesses get to keep money in the local economy. 

Building a website and launching a digital marketing campaign doesn’t have to be difficult, or expensive. At Putnam County-based Distinct Web Design, for example, we offer comprehensive digital marketing services that are tailored to small businesses. 

Plus, the investment can be well worth it to attract more customers to Putnam County businesses. Your financial outlay could result in profits that far exceed the money you originally spent.

Customers can shop locally.

The whole point of Small Business Saturday is to encourage consumers to shop locally and support their local economies. 

However, encouraging customers to shop locally year round is the best way to drive money to your small business and the community you serve. 

An online presence can encourage this local focus among your target audiences. By promoting your business online, you achieve the following goals:

  • Broaden brand awareness among your target audiences
  • Communicate with consumers where they are (online)
  • Give consumers an online way to shop locally
  • Affordably market yourself in the digital age

If you need help developing this online presence for your small business, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can help you capture more business for your company, and Putnam County, with a compelling online presence.