SGV – Are you an over-achiever who jumped up at the crack before midnight to complete your holiday shopping on Black Friday (and are now kicked back, relaxed, and watching everyone else scramble); or are you an adrenaline junkie who loves the chase of the last few hours on Christmas Eve?
Whatever your shopping style, cities, chambers of commerce and retailers are encouraging you to “Shop Small.” When you keep your hard-earned dollars local, more of what you spend helps to support the communities where you live by sustaining parks, recreation, schools, libraries and other local services.
The City of Walnut is even promoting a “Walnut Selfie Business Campaign,” to remind residents to shop locally this season. Residents are encouraged to take pictures of themselves shopping at local businesses and forward them to the City of Walnut Community Development Department via email. Selfies will be posted to the City’s Instagram, Twitter and Facebook pages. The campaign is going on now through Wed., Dec. 31. Show your civic pride and send your selfie to firstname.lastname@example.org.
According to the Regional Chamber of Commerce of San Gabriel Valley, there are some very good reasons to shop small, by shopping locally:
- Shopping local creates jobs. Shops in your town create local employment and self-employment. These people in turn spend in the local community.
- Local, independent shops invest more in their communities. Local businesses are proportionately more generous in their support of local charities, schools and community events. Supporting local shops means a financial impact on your community.
- Local shops sell a wide range of great products at affordable prices. Many people fall out of the habit of shopping locally and are then surprised by the range of products and gifts available.
- Shopping local saves you money. Out of town shops have done a good job of convincing us that local business equals expensive. If you add travel, fees to transfer items and your time, the overall cost is often much higher.
- Shopping local retains communities. People don’t like losing shops and services in small towns, but don’t equate this to how they spend their money.
- Shopping local retains your distinctiveness. Independent shops create unique shopping experiences. Local businesses respond quickly to the needs of local customers, stocking products to meet the changing population needs.
- Shopping local saves the environment. Local shops often stock a high percentage of locally sourced goods which do not require long car and bus journeys, helping to reduce our global footprint.
- Local shops are for everyone. Most people can get to their local shops easily and this is especially important for the elderly and young generations, and those without transportation.
- Local shops value you more. Evidence from numerous surveys show people receive better customer care and service locally. These businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business, which means you get a higher standard of service.
- Shopping local saves services. Private and public sector services tend to cluster around shops. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, banks, restaurants, etc.
Statistics say that each dollar spent locally can return up to five times that amount within a community through city taxes, employee wages, and the purchase of supplies and services at other local companies. Locally owned, independent businesses return about 80% of each dollar to their community, as opposed to big box or chains, which contribute about 40%.
So get out there and shop…but shop small. Happy holidays!