'Shop Local!" is a now familiar rallying cry heard year-round, but as the holiday season approaches, the exclamations seem to get louder. But what exactly does "buy local" mean?
When you shop at independent or local businesses, more money is kept within your community because they often use or buy from local service providers, farms and other companies. Buying locally helps to grow other businesses as well as your region's tax base, in a more sustainable manner.
Politically one of the most important actions we can take is in the way we spend our money. Where do your dollars go when you spend them?
Don't underestimate the number of dollars spent on food, beverages and restaurant visits during the holidays, along with the gifts you purchase. Those dollars can be viewed as an investment in your community.
Shop the farmers market until it closes and then smaller locally owned markets. Look for signs in larger grocery stores that carry certain sections of items from local growers, support small wine and liquor stores and frequent independently owned restaurants.
You'll enjoy a higher quality product in most cases when supporting your local small businesses, which is an an added plus. Products from overseas are often cheap for a reason; they skimp on quality and often humane working conditions.
Local boutique or consignment clothing stores, toy stores, gift shops, hardware stores, salons/spas, restaurants and sports equipment stores are just a few examples of owner-run businesses where you can find great gifts.
The John Dunn Shops are planning events through the holidays despite the pandemic.
"On Oct. 24, Op.Cit is planning a book giveaway in conjunction with fundraising for some nonprofits that serve the most vulnerable," said the Dunn Shops' owner Polly Raye, "Noemi [de Bodisco] from Op.Cit did this event at her shop in Santa Fe and is enthusiastic about bringing it to John Dunn. Hopefully it will also increase the traffic at the shops that day, and benefit the shops, but everyone is enthusiastic about it as a fundraiser in any case."
That same evening Coyote Moon will offer altar-building for the Day of the Dead.
Thinking "local first" during the holidays will guarantee you're doing your part to support the community, and that you'll see the benefits of that support in the coming year.
Now through the holidays, Tempo will spotlight local businesses, encouraging our readers to spend their hard-earned dollars closer to home, as we head into these coming months of more uncertainty regarding the pandemic and its impact on the economy.
With this in mind, we know that if we continue to support one another, we will get through this winter together, and emerge in spring stronger than ever and ready for the inevitable change the new season is sure to bring.