Shop Local This Holiday Season
By Anthony Mercadante
With the holiday season before us, there is no doubt we are all thinking about shopping and the gifts we want to buy for the people in our lives. With our busy schedules and holiday parties, it’s easy to consider turning to the internet to get your shopping done. But that type of shopping often has consequences on your community. This holiday season, I encourage you to shop local. Not only does this support your local businesses, but it has profound rewards for your community.
When you buy goods and services from local businesses and merchants, the money you spend stays in our communities. National research shows that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $48 stays in our cities and towns. That’s compared to only $14 of $100 that is spent at a chain and just $1 when spent at large e-commerce retailers. Those dollars support the essential services that we all rely on, including police, fire, schools, streets and more.
Local and independent small businesses are also more likely to give back to the community, create more jobs and opportunities, and support other small businesses in the community. Small businesses also work hard to keep your trust each and every day, providing unparalleled products and services. All of this helps to strengthen our communities and contributes to our quality of life.
On November 26th, Small Business Saturday was celebrated across the nation. This movement encourages shoppers to support small businesses after the Thanksgiving holiday. There are no stampedes or trampled shoppers on Small Business Saturday, but friendly faces welcoming local shoppers. I think when you start to calculate the economic impact that shopping local has, you’ll realize just what a bargain it is.
There are many tools to shopping local – and even gifts that help support local businesses. In North Central Massachusetts, we recently developed a gift card called “Gift Local” to encourage shopping local. With nearly 50 businesses currently participating, consumers are given a choice when deciding on where and how they want to spend their money. We have made it easy for you to shop local, and we hope you take us up on our offer.
I’m passionate about shopping local because investing in local business is good for our regional economy. The many business owners in our region who work hard to keep their doors open, create jobs, and fill needs in our community deserve our business.
Anthony J. Mercadante, CPA is Managing Partner of Mercadante & Mercadante, PC, a certified public accounting firm based in Fitchburg. Mr. Mercadante is also the Chairman of the Board for the North Central Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.