Look, I get it. I’ve done it myself: shopping entirely online at the great warehouse in the sky for all my holiday gifts. It’s convenient and (sometimes) cheaper. And it’s WAY better than facing all those crazy faceless Santa sweater-wearing crowds at the mall to elbow my way to a toy that my nephew will only play with half a dozen times before breaking it or losing it in the pile of other toys he has.
So this year, I am committing to buying my gifts locally this year, and here’s why:
- I love my small town. Having worked at Aaron’s for the last year, I’ve learned that the people who own shops in small towns aren’t just business owners: they’re people on a mission to build community. They believe and work hard to ensure that our unique little town has vibrant small businesses that serve the families who live here. If I say that I believe that too, then I have to choose to support their vision with my money.
- More of my money will be kept in my local economy. For every $100 I spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in my community. What happens when I spend that same $100 at a national chain? Only $43 stays in the community.(Source: Civic Economics – Andersonville Study of Retail Economics)
- I pride myself on giving thoughtful, unique gifts to the people I love. What better way to find those gifts than supporting the myriad of local shops that make it their business to stock items you wouldn’t find in chain stores?!?
In case you need more convincing, I’m adding this infographic from Indie Bound:
So as you think about your holiday shopping this year, don’t just shop locally on Small Business Saturday (although, do AT LEAST shop locally that day). Make a point to support our small town and the people who work to make it a unique and vibrant community.