As the holiday retail season kicks into full gear this year, Local First Utah is mounting a smart campaign for its Buy Local First Week on two fronts: asking consumers to shift 10 percent of their holiday expense budget to locally-owned businesses and businesses to respond in kind with a 10 percent retail discount.
The “10 percent shopping shift” is the theme of this year’s campaign which starts Nov. 29 and runs through Dec. 6, according to Alison Einerson, executive director of Local First Utah, a non-profit organization with more than 1,800 participating Utah businesses.
Indeed, the impact is potentially significant as The Selective Echo indicated in a recent article, that can be seen here. Einerson refers to numerous studies by urban economists which document the potential impact, as in a 2007 San Francisco retail diversity study. The results indicated that “a slight shift in consumer purchasing behavior – diverting just 10 percent of purchases from national chain stores to locally-owned businesses – would, each year, create 1,300 new jobs and yield nearly $200 million in incremental economic activity,” Einerson explains.
The two-pronged campaign emphasis makes good sense given the current economic tenor, Einerson explains. “The evidence is clear: supporting local businesses is key to pumping up local income, wealth, jobs, and taxes, and the more residents, businesses, and city officials that support locally owned businesses, the greater the economic rewards,” she adds.
Buy Local First Week will include:
Buy Local First Week kickoff at the “Old World Christmas Market” with the Salt Lake City Downtown Alliance, Sat., Nov. 29, at the Gallivan Center.
A panel discussion on sustainable gift giving with the Citizens for Sustainability on Wed., Dec. 3, at the King’s English Bookshop (1500 E. 1511 S.) at 6:30 p.m.
Local First Utah’s web site also has information about corresponding events and promotions in Ogden, Moab, St. George, and other Utah communities.
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