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Shop Local First: Be Part of the Movement

Shopping local. It sounds like such a great concept, but why is it that we too often wind up in overcrowded malls or buying sight unseen on the internet? Maybe it’s a matter of perceived convenience. Maybe it’s because we aren’t sure what’s available in local stores.


But what if we shopped local first? We would give our best attention and our first dollars to our friends and neighbors who own small businesses right here in our community. Then, when we expend our possibilities here, we head to the mall, big box store, or online retailer.


Here are a few reasons why shopping local first makes sense:

  1. Less stress. Who among us loves the long lines and wall-to-wall people that are commonplace in a mall setting or big box store during the holiday season? Imagine having most of your list accomplished and going to pick up just a few items. After a short time, you can be enjoying a cup of cocoa and Christmas music while watching everyone else freak out about their overwhelming shopping tasks.

  2. Personal service. A local store experience gives you the opportunity to customize the gift for the person you’re buying for. Store owners and employees have an intimate knowledge of inventory and can help you find the perfect gift. They also usually have access to order something for you, helping you avoid shipping costs.

  3. Gifts with a story. When is the last time you told a story about a gift you bought on Amazon? When it comes to giving gifts to people you care about, thoughtfulness should be a key factor. Sharing a story about a unique item bought specifically for the person goes a lot further than an impersonal gift bought from a large retailer.

  4. Your gift makes a difference. If the majority of the community shopped at small businesses first, imagine the impact this would have. These small businesses would be thriving as they enter the new year and be further strengthened to give back to the community. Over time, this movement could lead to increased local employment and economic growth.


So, what are you waiting for? Small Business Saturday is November 25, but don’t just spend a few leftover dollars at a small business. Give local small businesses your first gift-giving dollars, and enjoy the good feeling you’ll have by supporting your community.


The New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce is partnering with local businesses for “Shop Local First,” an initiative designed to encourage the support of local small businesses. Follow the New Castle-Henry County Chamber of Commerce and WholeHeart Communications on Facebook for tips and adventures in shopping local.

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