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Shop independent and local this holiday season

It’s hard to be believe, but the holidays are once again upon us. As you’re finalizing your celebrating and gift-giving plans, why not make a pledge to support independent, local businesses whenever possible?

We can’t forget that every dollar we spend has impact. When we buy from locally-owned, independent businesses, our money does more good for our local community. There are a lot of good reasons to buy local. Here are six of our favorites: 

  1. Money: When we shop local, money stays in our local economy longer and does more good. For every $100 you spend at a locally-owned business, an average of $68 stays in the local community. Compare that to just $43 for a big box store. 
  2. Jobs: Local businesses = local jobs. Small businesses are the state’s largest employer. They hire our neighbors, family members, and friends.
  3. Charm: Local businesses shape the character of our communities. They make our places unique and interesting. 
  4. Climate: Buying local is good for the environment. It means less resources and energy were used to transport goods. 
  5. Community: Local businesses are more inclined to give back to the local community — think Little League teams, raffle donations, and charitable giving — because they are part of the local community. They donate almost 2.5x more per employee than national chains. 
  6. Trust: It feels good to do business with someone you know. 

With every purchase you make, you can strengthen the Rhode Island economy. That’s a lot of power; wield it wisely!

If you’re looking to show some support beyond your wallet, here are a few ways:

  • Friday, November 25 is Plaid Friday. That’s right; we’re taking back Black Friday. Wear plaid to support your locally-owned, independent businesses. Share a pic of yourself on social media using #plaidFriday and #ShopIndieLocal with a few words about why you shop local.
  • Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday. Remind everyone you know!
  • Tuesday, November 29 is Giving Tuesday. It’s a great time to make a few year-end charitable donations to your favorite nonprofit organizations.

Looking for some good options on how/where to spend locally this holiday season? We’re compiling a list of the local markets. (If your community is hosting a market that we’ve missed, please email jessica@localreturn.org to let us know.)

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