From late November through December, “holiday shopping” takes center stage in business and economic news. Black Friday — one day of conspicuous consumption — can set the tone for the nation’s entire economic outlook. And if a single day of personal spending can do that, imagine what a month of holiday shopping could do for a local economy.
That’s exactly what the folks at the Boulder County Independent Business Association (BIBA) did — they imagined what a whole month of dedicated shoppers spending locally could do for our county. December is Buy Local month, and Boulder County residents are encouraged to keep their dollars closer to home.
BIBA estimates that for every dollar spent at locally owned independent businesses, roughly 80 cents stays in the community, instead of being siphoned off by out-of-state corporations. By comparison, for every dollar spent at chain stores, only about 40 cents stays in the community.
And with sales tax supporting everything from public libraries to trail maintenance, it’s more important than ever to keep your holiday dollars offline and in the community. Many online retailers don’t pay state sales tax, and while that might translate to a few dollars’ savings for you, don’t forget about all of the city and county services that need your support.
To kick off this month, BIBA is hosting its Local and Loving It Fest at the Boulder Outlook Hotel on Dec. 4. Admission is free and the event is open to the public, so come and check out all of the activities. Local merchants will be selling and giving away goods and services, local artists will display and sell their artwork as well as give demonstrations of their techniques, and local musicians will provide the entertainment. You can also sit in on the Community Forum to hear top local businesses speak about the importance of supporting your local community in a variety of ways. Kids will also have plenty to do, with activities like face painting, Ukrainian egg decorating and hoop silk screening.
For more about the Local and Loving It Fest, visit www.boulderindependentbusiness.org/localandlovingitfest.html. For more information on the Buy Local month, visit www.boulderindependentbusiness.org.
Need another reason to shop locally this holiday season? Boulder Weekly is encouraging Boulder County residents to spend locally this holiday season by making the 2010 Boulder Weekly I Love Local Holiday Pledge. Agree to spend $100 or more at locally owned businesses this holiday season and get entered to win lots of great prizes! Enter by liking our Facebook page at http://on.fb.me/fKD0qt or by filling out the pledge form at www.boulder weekly.com/flex-160-i-love-local.html. Winners will be announced in the Dec. 30 edition of Boulder Weekly.