Happy December! The month where many of us resign ourselves to living in stretchy leggings until January 1st so as to fully enjoy all the good eats. We are prepping our homes and ourselves for holiday cheer, warm company, and of course… PRESENTS!
I wanted to share some compelling reasons you should consider shopping local, whenever possible, this year as you hustle and bustle your way through the holiday season. There is so much in today’s society trying to persuade us to buy fast, buy online, return what we don’t want, repeat. Without throwing any large online retailers under the bus, I think we are dangerously close to becoming a culture of Amazonians as we readily adopt this mindset.
I am going to PRESENT (pun intended) you with an alternative this year:
- You Encounter REAL People When You Shop Local
This is good for many reasons. If you’re like me, you enjoy getting personal one-on-one support and answers to your questions, you enjoy trying things on prior to purchasing, or feeling and seeing the product in person before buying. You meet people in your community and hear their stories and their “why”. It creates a deeper bond between us as citizens and a sense of belonging when we regularly frequent places (example: a local coffee shop that knows you by name and exactly how you like your cafe au lait). You are also more likely to make connections and build relationships. Statistics show that people who choose to shop in a local business are usually MORE satisfied with their purchase than if they bought online.
- We Are What Our Local Businesses Are
Local business helps to mold our culture as a community. They give each region and town a distinct flare.
- A Better Economy for All
Did you know that when you choose a locally-owned business, approximately 62 cents of every dollar goes directly BACK into the community!? That is compared with only 14 cents of every dollar going to the local community if you shop a nationally-owned retailer. Shopping locally also helps to create jobs for citizens, and then those individuals are able to spread their dollars locally as well. “Local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services. They generate more tax revenue per sales dollar.” (Source) Want lower taxes? Shop local, independent businesses!
- Local Businesses Give Back
In addition to offering a more exceptional service experience to their customers and clients, local businesses also donate more than twice as much (per sales dollar) to organizations, charities, and non-profits than big businesses. Communities with a thriving local infrastructure also tend to have more physically healthy and thriving individuals.
Most everything on your holiday shopping list can be purchased using local businesses, and I encourage you to do as much as possible this way (think of it as a local scavenger hunt). Here are some ideas to get you started, the links will take you to the Souhegan Valley Chamber members in each category to spark some ideas, for a full list of members click HERE:
Restaurant Gift Certificates (and don’t forget the beer and wine for upcoming parties!)
Massage or Body Work Gift Certificate
Clothing and Gifts
Toys & Games
Your Holiday Cards
Your Holiday Photo Shoot
Home Wares, Consignment and Decor
Art and/or Art Classes
This list is just to get you started
Happy (Local) Shopping!