Buying your toilet paper locally can add $309,580 to coffers

Published 9:01 am Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Toilet paper is something everyone uses and, unlike food, can be found in almost any location from the grocery store to the convenience store off a random Interstate. Doing some research on toilet paper (and you would be surprised at how much is out there), I found the average American uses approximately 57 sheets per day! A representative from Kimberly Clark (one of the largest producers of toilet paper) was quoted as saying the average roll contains 352 sheets and an average 12 pack costs about $6.99 which means a person spends just over $34 and goes through 59 rolls per year in toilet paper.
But how does this help Elizabethton? Well, what if everyone who lived, worked, or shopped in Elizabethton bought their toilet paper in Elizabethton — the economic impact of one person’s yearly toilet paper use is approximately $5.35. Taken together with the people who live, work, and shop in and around Elizabethton and Carter County, the local economic impact could be $309,580 created just by buying toilet paper at local stores. Who would have thought that buying something so simple and so inexpensive could have such a big impact? Wherever you purchase your toilet paper, that community gets your $5.35 of impact and all you have to do is choose to purchase there.
The same thing can be done with a few other common goods that are easily available right here in Elizabethton and Carter County. It is estimated that the average family in Carter County spends approximately $126 per year on milk. Wherever you purchase your milk for the year, that community gets your $24.76 of impact; if everyone purchased their milk in Elizabethton that would generate approximately $470,440 in impact every year. All you have to do is choose to purchase it in Elizabethton or Carter County!
The next time you plan to go out to eat, think about where you would like to go in Elizabethton rather than driving to Bristol or Johnson City. We estimate a Carter County household will spend $1,810 per year on eating out. The yearly economic impact of eating out is $895.78 per household if they choose to eat locally. Obviously, we want that $895.78 to stay in Carter County and Elizabethton not Bristol or Johnson City. If we all went out to eat in Elizabethton, the economic impact would total approximately $17,019,820.
I want to challenge you this year to choose Elizabethton and Carter County whether it’s milk, eating out, or just toilet paper. Simply by choosing where you purchase your products helps make our community’s economy and businesses stronger. What other local products or services can we take advantage of? Let’s talk about it!
(Jon Hartman is presently serving as City Manager Pro Tem as well as Director of Planning & Economic Development for the City of Elizabethton. He can be contacted at or (423) 542-1503).

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