The Shift Your Shopping Holiday Campaign runs through December 31, 2011. Citizens are encouraged to shift 10% or more of their holiday purchases to locally-owned and independent businesses. In its second year, this movement has grown from its New England base — including the Monadnock, Seacoast and Lakes Regions of New Hampshire — to over 150 communities across North America.
“We’re asking community residents to shift your purchases of food, cards, gifts, flowers and other holiday purchases to where it matters most, from your friends and neighbors at locally owned businesses. And while you’re at it, see some familiar faces and enjoy the experience,” said Joe Grafton, director of Somerville Local First in Massachusetts.
Americans are about to spend a large portion of their annual shopping budget between November 1 and December 31. The National Retail Federation predicts about $700 per shopper. Numerous studies show that if those dollars are shifted to locally owned, independent businesses, they’ll generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in local communities than if that money had been spent at a national chain. Across North America, that could mean billions of dollars of local economic impact.
“We’re not asking citizens to spend, spend, spend; but to mindfully assess where they are already spending their hard-earned dollars,” said Jen Risley, Chair of Monadnock Buy Local. “If there’s a a locally-owned business that provides the same product or service you want, in your town or a neighboring one, why not spend your money there? Think of it as a gift that give twice – or thrice!”
“Shift Your Shopping promotes the united vision and voice of thousands of real people in real communities across the U.S. and Canada committed to building strong local economies,” said BALLE Executive Director, Michelle Long.
Beyond the economic impacts, Shift Your Shopping is also about celebrating the uniqueness of your local community, AMIBA Director Jennifer Rockne said, “By shifting the focus of holiday shopping to locally owned, independent businesses, we can strengthen our communities and economy, create more jobs and – equally important – we can enjoy more relaxed and rewarding experiences doing holiday shopping.”
BALLE and AMIBA are both national organizations dedicated to supporting local business alliances across the United States and Canada. Find more information about the national Shift Your Shopping campaign, which runs from November through December, at www.ShiftYourShopping.org.
Monadnock Buy Local is a volunteer-led initiative that promotes locally-owned and independent businesses and organizations by producing an annual printed local directory, promoting the benefits of shopping locally, and engaging the community on MBL’s online social media networks. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.