Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Getting caught in the hype.
Before the 1800s, the emphasis on the holiday season was not about spending money but about spending time celebrating with friends and family. It wasn’t until about 1850 that major retailers like Macy’s started pushing the commercialism of Christmas and presents, even inviting Santa Claus to appear in their stores. Many retailers saw a way to increase sales and BAM!, holiday commercialism was born.
Over the years, holiday commercialism has, of course, gotten huge. Today we have those big box staples “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” And just recently, American Express, a multi-national corporation, started “Small Business Saturday,” asking you to use their credit card under the guise of shopping local. With all of this shopping hype, we continue to pull dollars not only away from small businesses, but also our local economy.
Let’s start a new local tradition
So as this holiday shopping season opens, we think that we should start a new locally-based tradition: how about calling it “Green Friday” and “Shop-Local Saturday.” It really is the best time of year to shop at your favorite local, independent businesses.
Local independent businesses are the backbone of our community, spurring local economic growth, creating jobs, and giving back to local organizations and to our community. Here are some fun facts: for every $100 spent in a local retail business, an average of $68 returns to the local economy versus $43 if that money is spent with a big box or chain store. And just a 10% shift in spending to independent businesses can result in an average of 1,600 new jobs, $53 million in wages, and $137 million of economic impact to the area. Doing some holiday food shopping? Well a 10% shift in food spending could redirect $186 million each year to countywide farmers and ranchers.
He’s making a list… checking it twice… he’s hoping you’re Supporting Local because that would be really, really nice!
So when you make your holiday shopping list, why not give the gift that gives back to your community.
Think Local – Support Local – Shop Local. It really is a wonderful gift to our community. Help us spread the word.
Image credits:Robert LeMaire