Six good reasons to shop local for the holidays—and every day
Here are six good reasons to shop local this holiday season:
- If you like the Heights for its walkable access to lively, interesting business districts, the way to keep these districts healthy is to spend money in them—for special occasions and everyday life.
- I value the process of finding thoughtful, unique gifts in shops run by people I know as friends. When I give such a gift, it comes along with a little story about the great shop where I got it.
- All the money we spend on the Internet and most of what we spend at national chain stores leaves the community forever. But most of the money spent with an independent local merchant stays in the community, where it recirculates and supports the local economy.
- Our independent merchants support local causes and school kids. They donate and participate. They cater to our local tastes, and collaborate with each other to make our community special.
- Many owners and employees of local businesses live here, too. Shopping with neighbors and friends is more enjoyable than shopping at a corporate chain that cares most about maximizing shareholder value.
- Some part of every dollar we spend with giant corporate retailers is used to fight wage growth, avoid taxes, prevent unions and resist regulation. Our money is the fuel that helps them grow larger and more powerful—while often working against our own interests. Owners of small, independent businesses tend not to have lobbyists and law departments. They're regular people, with the same problems as the rest of us. If you see it the way I do, spending locally is like casting a vote for a better kind of capitalism.
This issue of the Heights Observer contains our annual gift guide (starting on page 24 of the print issue) and ads from at least 25 local businesses that have something to contribute to your holidays.
Cleveland Heights resident Bob Rosenbaum is co-chair of the Heights Observer Advisory Committee, and is responsible for its advertising sales and market development.