Sunday, December 13, 2009

Challenge: Shop Locally for the Holidays

It seems like the spirit of Christmas in a tough economy has everyone thinking about shopping locally. The Neighbors of Easton wrote about local businesses this week, and included some helpful links to learn more about creating and fostering a sustainable local economy. Then I received an email with a direct link to the SBNLV (Sustainable Business Network of the Lehigh Valley)'s new Internet video. Check it out on youtube by clicking here. A few of my favorite places to shop are featured in it! After that, I read Jana's blog for Lehigh Valley Style, and was inspired by her commitment to contribute to the local economy for the holidays:
It has become customary that my dad, sister, and I bear the selfish Black Friday crowds at the Lehigh Valley Mall for a few deals and steals, but this year I want to focus my energy into seeking out unique gifts while helping our local economy at the same time.
And today even the Chamber of Commerce asked for businesses to pledge to shop locally:
The pledge is simple: businesses, whether they are members or not, pledge to shift 5% of their spending from out of the Valley to back in. According to our statistics, if every business in the Valley took this pledge, an additional $100 million would be spent in the Lehigh Valley.
I realize that not everything on your list is going to be available in an independently-owned local business, but to the extent that it's possible, give it a shot. It might mean one extra trip in the car, but maybe you'll start a new holiday tradition of shopping in a downtown area, or discover a whole new shopping experience. If you have already done some local shopping, how did it go? Did you find anything completely surprising or unique?

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous12/16/2009

    Becoming a local business owner myself this past year, natually I decided to exclusively shop locally this holiday season! Yes, it did create an extra couple of drives but all well worth it. I have perused the downtowns of both Bethlehem & Easton, and swear that if you do the same you will be amazed and surprised at what the you will discover! The Lehigh Valley's independent & local shops have a plethora of unique and well-made gifts for everyone! I have a one year-old and five year-old and cringe at the very thought of going anywhere near a Toys R Us or Target at this time of the year and realized that it isn't forth the crowds and more importantly, we should be supporting our local economies, especially during these rough economic times.
    For childrens' toys go to Toy Magic which is located on the northside of Bethlehem in the Main Street Commons. It is by far the greatest toy store especially because the owner and staff are enthusatic about what they carry and take much pride in their business! They even gift wrap for you (at no additional charge).
    Also, northside as well as southside of Bethlehem have everything you need! The shops on both 4th & 3rd streets of Southside such as Comfort & Joy, Home & Planet, Cleo's, Monsoon Gallery, Homebase, Loose Threads Boutique really have an amazing array of gifts. Even Easton has amazing things to offer you this holiday, check out Connexions Gallery on Northampton Street. And all of these shops as well as the others, offer something more than the malls & wallmarts can offer... they offer an atmosphere that will cheer you up and the greatest customer service! It really can become a great holiday tradition to bundle up and go for a walk in your downtowns!