This is why, as the holiday season approaches and spending increases, buy local campaigns can have their greatest impact on local economies. Shift Your Shopping, a campaign representing 40,000 locally-owned and independent businesses throughout the U.S. and Canada, is working to encourage shoppers to shift a portion of their spending, starting in the holiday season, from larger retail chains to locally-owned businesses in their own communities. Based on studies conducted by similar efforts, they believe that this shift will “likely generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in our community than if we had spent our money at a national chain.” The goal is to empower residents to “ take job creation and economic concerns into their own hands by exercising their power to strengthen their own local economies.”
We all benefit from the diversity and personality of local businesses. This holiday season, Shift Your Shopping has launched their 3rd annual holiday campaign from November 1st to December 31st, asking consumers to keep those businesses thriving by shifting their holiday shopping to local retailers. The 2013 campaign is lead by local movement leaders The American Independent Business Alliance and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, in partnership with 160 local business organizations across North America.
The campaign offers education on the benefits of buying local, as well as ways for local businesses to participate in Shift Your Shopping, such as posters to display in store windows, images to share on Facebook, and logos to use in promotions during the holidays.
According to the Shift Your Shopping website, “A 2013 survey of Independent Businesses by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance showed Independent businesses in communities with an active “buy indie/buy local” campaign run by a local business/citizen alliance saw revenues grow 8.6% in 2012, compared to 3.4% for those in areas without an alliance.” The Shift Your Shopping team wants to engage local business owners and residents in the fight for the well being of their own communities.
As the Shift Your Shopping homepage reads, “We’re building a tradition that strengthens local economies, expands employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding shopping experience.”