Seven Compelling Reasons to Shop Local
- story by Lisa Monti, Ellis Anderson, photographs by Ellis Anderson
What if you could shop hassle-free, find the perfect Christmas presents, support our hometown merchants, and boost the local economy?
That’s no holiday fantasy: that’s called shopping locally.
Starting Nov. 26 with Small Business Saturday and continuing throughout the month of December, you can join the national Shop Small movement, a celebration of small businesses that helps our merchants and communities thrive.
“We had an excellent weekend but we need that support to continue through the holidays,” said Janice Guido owner of Bay Life Gifts and president of the Old Town Merchants Association.
Talk of the Town
So before you head out to go Christmas shopping, check out our list for reasons why makes sense staying close to home.
1. Memorable and Meaningful Choices. We live in a place where local shops are known for one-of-a-kind artwork plus other sought-after items not found on big-box store shelves or national websites. Beautiful jewelry and unique clothing, fine painting and pottery, gifts for the home, children’s toys and clothes, antiques and furniture all are available locally.
2. Personal Service. The owners and sales staff are your neighbors and will work hard to keep you happy with extraordinary personal service.
3. Less Hassles, More Fun. Forget fighting traffic, crowds and parking problems. Strolling through Old Town shops, taking a walk out by the harbor, running into friends and neighbors and enjoying a leisurely lunch will keep your holiday spirits bright.
And these shop owners act as daily good-will ambassadors to the Bay. They help change one-time visitors into repeat visitors and repeat visitors into new residents. Priceless.
5. Local Merchants Help Improve Quality of Life in the Bay. Imagine the Bay without the monthly Second Saturday Artwalk and other fun annual events organized by local merchants, like Souper Mudfest, Frida Fest and Dolly Should. Nuff said.
6. Small Local Businesses Give Back. Directly. Continually. Merchants and local restaurateurs support local charity programs throughout the year, directly improving quality of life in the community. Big mail order chains may save you a few dollars, but the dollars stay where the dollars go - into deep corporate pockets.
7. Shopping Locally is Good for Everyone’s Bottom Line. According to one study, for every dollar spent, more than 60 cents stays in the community, mainly through taxes and paychecks.
Besides providing jobs, local sales taxes help to fund local services, including fire and police protection. “The boost to the local economy creates jobs and promotes economic development by attracting new businesses,” said Williams.
"I cannot imagine communities in our county being healthy and vibrant without small businesses," Williams continued. "They give all of us a sense of who we are."