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Support Local Merchants and Artists: Shop Local This Holiday Season

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Local First's 2012 Be Local Coupon Book is now available! Pick one up and save money while supporting your local economy.

This year's book is better than ever with 260 coupons from 195 member businesses. You can purchase a book at a wide variety of locations downtown.

If Black Friday wasn’t your bag for holiday shopping, now is the time to "look local" and support fellow community members, merchants, and artists!

The 3/50 approach to boost our local economy:

(Graphic from the 3/50 Project)


 Keep it Local This Christmas – Join the Shop Local Campaign(from

 10 reasons (environmental, political, and economical) — why we should all shop local this season:

1.  More money stays in the local economy when we shop local. According to the 3/50 Project, for every $100 spent at a local-independent business, $68 stays in the community versus $43 at a non-locally owned business. Want to boost your area’s economy? Shop local. 

2.  Local businesses give locally. Check out the back of Little League t-shirts and programs from local theater productions — it’s [Carvers] and [Durango Coffee Company] sponsoring community life. It’s pretty darn hypocritical to beg the locally owned businesses for donations and then turn around and shop at the Big Box Stores who don’t give to local organizations at a fraction of the level that independent retailers do.

3.  Locally owned ensures choice and diversity.  Chains don’t have any regard for local needs, climate or concerns. Chains don’t have character.  Sadly, many folks live in areas where Big Box stores have taken over, leaving no choice, no diversity.

4.  Locally owned means COLOR and CHARACTER. The entire planet is morphing into identical strip malls with identical storefronts. How depressing. If you value the unique color of your downtown, you have to leave your money behind supporting it. If you don’t, those stores shutter up and you’re left with nothing but Big Box shopping experiences.

5.  Luring chain stores costs communities more than they benefit them. The tax revenue drops, an equal number of jobs are displaced, and the co-dependence of locally owned businesses is broken when Big Box stores enter the picture because they’re beholden to no one local.

6.  Big Box stores and chain stores and superstores waste land resources, contributing to urban sprawl and suburban blight. New Mexico now has eight empty Walmart stores. Colorado has 2, both exceed 100,000 square feet, not counting the parking lot. Strip malls give way to enclosed malls and free-standing megastores. Walmart has 400 stores sitting empty, 30 million square feet of empty building and that much more asphalt-covered parking lot.

7.  In addition to wasting land resources, chain stores pull traffic away from “Main Street America” and out to the edges of town, creating more reliance on driving and resulting in more dependence on cars. Most new retail outlets are not pedestrian or bike-friendly and many strain already underfunded public transportation by adding miles and miles to their routes — pulling shoppers and workers further from the central hub of their communities. Chain stores add to traffic congestion and taxpayers end up footing the bill to manage and reroute traffic every time a new Big Box gets built.

8.  Urban sprawl that inevitably results from Big Box stores puts more stress on a community’s infrastructure. It increases pollution to air and groundwater. It demands expansion of sewer, water, electricity, garbage pick up, police patrol, and first response services. This also happens at taxpayers’ expense.

9.  Shopping local means more expertise and more attentive customer service

10.  Shopping local means connecting with your community. These people live in our town, work in our town, and are invested in our town. Their livelihoods depend on us just as ours depends on theirs. 

Do our community a favor this Christmas: shop local.