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With one week left to complete the holiday shopping list, it can be tempting to shop online due to the efficiency and access. And while as someone who grew up in a rural town and currently lives in a small town, having access to items that aren’t available in the local shops can be a lifesaver. However, choosing to shop local provides not just for your wants and needs, but for the betterment and support of the community you love to live in as well.
This past Shop Small Saturday following Black Friday, in its third annual run, was met with great success for small business owners, but rather than making it an annual occasion, choosing to shop local regularly can do more good for the life you enjoy living.
Today I’d like to share with you three powerful reasons to make a conscious choice to shop local as much as your community provides. While I realize that it takes a bit more time, more money for the commute and may involve the stress of finding a parking spot, in the grand scheme of things, these are little sacrifices to create and maintain the community and town that you love living in. After all, while the virtual world offers wonderful riches, we can’t live there. And so we must be purposeful and cognizant of where we spend our money and what and whom it is supporting.
The Benefits of Shopping Local
1. Enhance Lifestyle
Living in a town with a safe community with beautiful parks, walkways, tree lined main streets and open business door fronts doesn’t just magically happen. It takes a thriving business community and citizens that understand that beautifying their town increases the value for everyone living there. When we choose to shop local, we support businesses and keep them in town. And when businesses stay, their taxes support local infrastructure.
2. Enhance Wealth
One of the most common investments many people make during their lifetime is purchasing a home, and while most towns and cities see a gradual appreciation in home values over the years, it can only be assured if the town has a thriving economy. By choosing to shop and dine locally, you keep your money in your community, thus allowing for businesses to be supported, thereby increasing home values. A win win for businesses and individuals who call the same town home.
3. Enhance Employment
In a recent article in The New York Times titled “A Formula for Happiness”, it was reported that while relationships, faith and community are widely accepted and understood as determiners for happiness, so too is work. The study revealed that feeling productive at the end of the day, feeling of value and knowing we’ve contributed positively for others and ourselves increases our happiness. And when we shop local more often, we increase the bottom lines of small businesses in our communities helping them to offer more employment to those in our own community and consequently increasing the quality of lives for those we call our neighbors.
Now, I realize that depending upon where you live, you can’t shop locally for everything, but for those items you can – kitchen supplies, pet supplies, food from local farmers, etc – make the effort to support what you wish to see more of. After all, it is when we choose to live consciously that we begin to see more of what we appreciate.
Happy holidays and happy shopping!
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