How can you reduce your stress and your environmental impact, strengthen the local economy, invest in community – and help give back?
By shopping local.
The National Retail Federation estimates that holiday spending will increase about 4 percent this year, but that only 23 percent of shopping will occur in local stores. Fifty-six percent of shopping is expected to done online.
To encourage people to support local businesses, the City of Atlantic Beach has launched a social media campaign, “Put AB under your tree.”
Although the campaign slogan singles out Atlantic Beach, “certainly, we encourage our residents to support local merchants at Beaches Town Center and throughout the Beaches,” said Deputy City Manager Kevin Hogencamp.
Here are some benefits of shopping local:
1. Reduce stress by making your shopping experience more enjoyable. Why not skip all the madness and replace that chaos with the pleasure of shopping at local, small businesses this holiday season? You’ll even have the energy left to savor a nice lunch or coffee out with a few friends and family members!
2. Strengthen the local economy. According to the research firm Civic Economics, for every $100 you spend at locally owned businesses, $68 will stay in the community. Why not keep it in the community and support economic growth for the future? Our kids will thank us.
3. Help our environment thrive. In addition to keeping our money local, shopping local this holiday season will help cut back on the almost 50 percent of United States pollution that is caused by industrial waste (according to the Environmental Protection Agency). Local, small business often carry more local products, take up less land than a big-brand store and cause less traffic and air pollution.
4. Invest in community. Not only does shopping local build relationships and unite the community, but it also invests in the future because local business owners are usually here to stay and involved in the community’s future.
5. Receive product expertise. When you shop local, you can get honest, expert advice directly from the shop owners — because they specialize in their products!
6. Be original. One of the greatest advantages of shopping local is that you are able to experience a greater selection of unique gifts. Handcrafted, one-of-a-kind gifts are often the most meaningful and treasured by their recipients.
7. Help give back. Locally owned businesses are prone to support local organizations and charities.