It’s no secret that Shoestring editors are not big fans of Black Friday. Especially in light of the recent Presidential election (where both parties slung mud fast and furiously at each other regarding outsourcing jobs and our national and economic relationships with China), we think this Facebook meme and this someecard sum our feelings up best:
What we do support are the notions shopping locally, supporting DIY entreprenurs, voting with our dollars, and buying products that are made in the USA (or made in the country in which you live, if you live abroad). We’re all about localism, supporting innovation, and catalyzing the economy with real prosperity for everyone. Not only is shopping locally an easy way to do your part to boost the economy, it’s much more fun interacting with the shop owners, makers, and doers who are passionate about the things you’re buying or using and invested in maintaining your relationship as a customer.
For years, we’ve been members of the Somerville Local First community, and have been active participants in the Shift Your Shopping movement. We firmly believe in this 2008 Michigan economic study, and others like it, that seem to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt the importance of buying from privately owned businesses in your local area whenever you can.
The study found that by shifting even 10% of our annual spending to local and privately owned businesses, we could create:
- Nearly $140 million in new economic activity
- Over 1600 new jobs (in each local area)
- Provide over $50 million in new wages
And it’s easier than ever to find, support, and patronize those locally made products and locally owned businesses:
Today, November 23rd, is Plaid Friday, the annual alternative celebration of the beginning of the holiday shopping season, where Local First organizations and businesses across the country host shopping events and encourage supporters to wear plaid to show their local pride. (Check out the Plaid Friday blog and Plaid Friday Facebook page to learn more.)
Tomorrow, November 24th, is Small Business Saturday, sponsored by American Express, “a day between Black Friday and Cyber Monday dedicated to supporting small businesses nationwide.” According to AMEX, over 100 million people participated by “Shopping Small” in their communities on the first annual Small Business Saturday. AMEX is offering a limited enrollment statement credit of $25 for cardholders who use their AMEX card to spend $25 or more at eligible locally owned businesses on Saturday, too! Find out more at AmericanExpress.com or on the Small Business Saturday Facebook page.
And, we have a big secret squirrel project launching next week to put our money where our mouth is and help you find awesome locally made holiday gifts, too. Stay tuned, and happy shopping!
Or happy Buy Nothing Day, if that’s more your bag — we won’t judge.
Story: Copyright 2012, Shoestring LLC.
Photos: Shutterstock.com; Courtesy.