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Holiday Gift Guide 2014: Shop Local Pledge

Don’t think me. Think we. That’s the basic principal of committing to shopping at locally owned businesses. Artvoice, Buffalo Rising, Block Club, Spree and many others have been beating the drum to shop locally for some time. The shop local movement gains more momentum each year and this year it seems stronger than ever.

Consider the many reasons it’s wise to support your locally owned businesses. It’s been proven that local small businesses create more jobs than corporations. Local businesses are proportionally more generous in supporting local charities and schools. Most important, shopping local retains our communities. People don’t like losing small businesses in their neighborhoods, so people need to consider where they spend their money. If you want local stores in your neighborhood then you can’t give all your money to Walmart. Cities and commercial neighborhoods are built around clusters of local businesses. When the shops disappear so do the services that surround them, hairdressers, banks, restaurants, etc. Look at what happened to downtown Main St. after all the businesses left. Out of town corporations have done a good job of convincing us that local means expensive and limited choice. That’s not necessarily true. The range and price of products and gifts available at local shops is quite remarkable and quite good. Independent shops create unique shopping experiences and they respond quickly to the needs of their communities, stock high percentages of locally sourced goods, and provide better customer care. Numerous surveys show people receive better service at local shops and it’s because these businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business. Also, most people can get to their local shops easily and that’s important for the elderly, the young and those without transportation. We need our locally owned businesses. This holiday season Shop Smart. Shop Local.

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