Shop Smart — Buy Local

Holiday gifts hold more meaning and value when you shop local and support small businesses. Every dollar you spend at a local spot filters back into the community by creating jobs, boosting the area’s economy and supporting the region’s talent.

Where we spend our money matters to the community, and there are so many ways to buy local. Grab a coffee at the independent café. Stop for a sandwich at the corner deli. Peruse local boutiques for something to wear to a holiday party. Find interesting gifts at shops run by people who live in the community. Dine out at a neighborhood restaurant.

Small businesses are a thriving, growing sector in our economy. They improve our neighborhoods and change our lives for the better. Here are seven reasons to shop local this holiday season.

Feed the local economy. When you shop local, the dollars spent at small businesses filter directly back into the community. The food, drinks, supplies, clothing, gifts and more you buy are taxed—and that tax income is confined to the area. Tax dollars support improvements in infrastructure, schools, parks, safety and more. So that gift you buy at your local shop is one powerful way to make important positive changes in your neighborhood. And every dollar counts.

Support our ‘makers.’ Entrepreneurs have a dream, and you’re supporting it by shopping at their places of business. The creative seamstress who opened a clothing shop—the home baker who went out on a limb and started a patisserie: These brave, hard-working individuals are making their dreams reality. Let’s patronize their businesses so they can thrive. Shop local, support our makers and their dreams. (After all, they’re supporting our communities.)

Find unique gifts for hard-to-shop-for relatives. You never know what to buy for your uncle. Your sister’s closet is already full of clothes you see at typical retailers. Let’s face it, some relatives are very difficult to shop for. Small businesses offer items you won’t find in the Big Boxes or run-of-the-mill national retailers. Some shops feature hand-crafted items or one-of-a-kinds. Isn’t it fun when you find a special gift that elicits an enthusiastic “Where did you get that?!” Explore area shops and wrap up something different this year.

Local shops create local jobs. Local businesses hire area talent. They need staff to keep their doors open. They need workers with an array of skills. Small business owners hire people from our own neighborhoods, people like us. When we keep local shops in business, we secure local jobs, which means improving the regional economy and boosting the community’s tax base. The goodness goes round and round.

Boost real estate values. You know that abandoned storefront? Remember that tired, old building? When local shops take up residence in our neighborhoods, they not only improve infrastructure by creating unique, interesting places to visit—they attract the visitors. More people shop, spend, enjoy and return for more fun. Everyone in the community benefits when local shops are successful.

Support local causes. Small businesses are tireless community champions. They sponsor our Little League teams and support school fundraisers. They volunteer time and talent to community causes. They pay taxes that improve the schools and local services. Our small businesses are true friends and thoughtful citizens, and they’re constantly giving back to our cities. By patronizing their shops, we help them continue to thrive so they can continue being good stewards.

Get to know the locals. Shopping is more personal when you get to know the owner. By frequenting local businesses, we build relationships with interesting people who are serving our communities by providing places to eat, drink, dine, shop and buy goods of all kinds.

 

Original article here.