[r76] Shop local this holiday season (11/27/2013)

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Start Date: 11/27/2013 Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 11/27/2013 End Time: 11:59 PM
The holiday shopping season is here. With all of the choices we have, it is important to remember what our community has to offer right here in our own backyards. This time of year is critical to retailers, so this holiday season I invite you to shop locally before you head online or to the big retailers.

According to Forbes, the average American is expected to spend about $704 on gifts and other items this holiday season, and $400 on Black Friday weekend alone.  Holiday spending is important to our local economy, and when we buy products from local merchants, the sales tax dollars go towards bettering our community such as parks, libraries, schools, etc. 

One of the many reasons to buy local, in my opinion, is not only for the experience but also the convenience. Local shops are closer, and you don’t always have to fight the big crowds. Also, while many big stores prepare for the Christmas season, smaller businesses tend to go the extra mile for their customers. In my experience, smaller shops tend to have higher quality materials and are on tap with what the community values. When you make a connection to consciously purchase these kinds of products, you make a connection with the community.

If you haven’t already heard, Saturday, November 30 was “Small Business Saturday,” a nationwide event to encourage holiday shoppers to spend more dollars at local, independent businesses. This is a great initiative to help raise awareness of the good things independent retailers do for our community. Small businesses return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors, and independent restaurants return more than two times as much money per dollar of sales in comparison to national restaurant chains.

A great website to visit is www.independentwestand.org, which promotes educating and promoting the benefits of buying local. This website can search by your zip code and give you a list of locally owned shops and restaurants to visit in the community. 
For every square foot a local firm occupies, the local economy gains $179 vs. $105 for a chain store. With that being said, this holiday season while you’re shopping for that perfect gift, I would like to encourage you to remember the good you will do by supporting local businesses in our community that we live and care about so much. Have a great holiday with friends and family, and be sure to cheer on our Colts!

McNamara_Memo_Shop local this holiday season.docx