This week kicks off the most intense shopping season of the year. It’s a fun and kind of stressful time that pours a massive amount of money into the economy. But how much of that spending is at locally owned businesses?
I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that it’s not enough. I also know that choosing to shop locally can have a huge impact on communities. According to a handy tool on the Local First website, if every household in Provo shifted just 10 percent of their holiday spending to local businesses it would inject $469,882.53 into the local economy. If everyone in Utah County did the same, the economic impact would be $3,966,885. (If you live in another city in Utah, you can use the Local First site to provide figures for your community as well.)
And keep in mind, this doesn’t mean a radical change to exclusively shopping at local businesses; rather these impacts would be realized with a relatively measly 10 percent shift.
To that I’d add that shopping locally can be more fun and less stressful because it’s inherently close to home and because it often results in more unique purchases.
I’ve written before about the benefits of shopping locally, but there’s never been a better time to start than during the holiday season when we’re all (supposed to be) thinking about trying to be just a little bit better.