Why it is more important than ever to support local business when holiday shopping
by Jenn Thompson, Buy Local Portland
If gift giving is a part of your holiday tradition, consider giving locally sourced gifts this season. Portland’s local businesses offer unique treasures from around the world, classic Maine-made gems and delicacies for the foodie on your list.
After a dramatic and divisive election season it is easy to withdraw and disengage from the world around us. But by participating in our local economy we have the opportunity to support our neighbors and invest in Portland’s future. More so, local businesses are central to our community. They provide places for us to gather together, resources for us to learn from and creativity that enriches our lives. More so, they often become the threads through which we build relationships and think about our past.
Supporting independently owned businesses preserves entrepreneurship, which has always been central to our identity as Mainers and Americans. A culture of innovation is at the root of both class mobility and technological progress. It is also the most practical solution to Maine’s historically declining population. If our children, new Mainers, and immigrant populations have opportunities to start businesses and be successful, they will be more likely to stay here and invest in our community.
Shop local and 76% more money stays local
In order for this tradition to thrive, we must support the people who are taking the risk of starting businesses. And we need to support those whose businesses we see as integral to our city. When you shop locally, you are supporting fellow Mainers who in turn re-invest their money locally. In fact, 76% more of your money stays in the local economy when you shop at independently owned business, according to a study conducted by the Maine Center for Economic Policy.
As Portland continues to see rapid growth and development, it is more important than ever that we value the diversity that local businesses bring to our lives. And by choosing to support local businesses we are co-creating the city we want to live in. Let’s create a city with a strong local economy that is invested in our future, a city with a large and diverse variety of options for purchasing goods and services, and a city that is self-reliant and resilient.
This holiday season, vote with your dollar.
Check out our holiday gift guide for local gift-giving inspiration: http://www.portlandbuylocal.org/uncategorized/portland-buy-local-holiday-gift-guide.
Jenn is the Portland Buy Local Executive Director. To learn more visit portlandbuylocal.org.