Shop Locally and Connect with the Community
23 Nov 2022
Where we shop, where we eat and have fun – all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of Elk River. As the holiday shopping season quickly approaches, the City of Elk River and Economic Development Authority encourages residents to shop locally as much as possible during the season. Economic Development Director Brent O’Neil states, “Elk River businesses offer a great array of shopping and services for all. Shopping locally is convenient and a great way to support community businesses and ensure the local economy stays strong. During the holiday season and year-round, we encourage everyone to shop in Elk River as much as possible.” The Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce is a great resource for additional information on shopping locally this season. Check out their Facebook page to stay abreast of special events, activities, and promotions this season! Elk River Area Chamber of Commerce | Elk River MN | Facebook
Shopping small in Elk River positively impacts our local economy and the U.S. economy. In the last 25 years, small businesses have created over 60 percent of new jobs, just one of the many important reasons to direct holiday spending toward small businesses. By purchasing food and other goods that are provided locally you stimulate the economy in which you live. Jobs are created or retained, the community gains revenue, families, and cultures are supported, and things thrive and grow.
Studies show that when you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, rather than a nationally-owned business, significantly more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers, and farms continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community. Local businesses require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
Buying locally has environmental benefits
Locally sourced materials and products have many environmental benefits. They produce less waste by reducing unnecessary transportation and delivery, therefore reducing the amount of packaging being used. Less packaging means less waste and less demand on landfill sites. According to the National Resource Defense Council, buying locally will help reduce pollution, and improve air quality and our health.
Not everything can be bought locally
It would be unrealistic to state that everything should be bought locally - we are now living in a global economy and this would not be possible. However, what we could do is shift some of our spendings to local vendors and suppliers. It could mean that you could think of buying your new printer from a local vendor instead of buying it online. Or you could buy a computer locally, from the local computer seller instead of buying it from a chain business. What does it look like for your business?
Buying locally also presents a special networking opportunity among businesses. Choosing to buy from other businesses within your community can lead to new connections, special discounts, and the chance to collaborate and support one another’s brands.
From this year on, let us motivate ourselves and others to shop local and make it more than just a holiday ritual. Let’s energize our local businesses and help them to grow and thrive.