'Shift Your Spending Month' started in Utah's last year as an annual holiday campaign promoted through their webiste. The campaign encourages Utahns to shift at least 10% of their holiday shopping towards locally owned, independent businesses. Las Vegas should take note!
Kristen Lavelett, the Executive Director of Local First Utah, says locally owned and independent businesses keep more money in the Utah economy than national chains or shopping online with places like Amazon. This holds true in Las Vegas as well. She dug a little deeper.
Lavelett also says for every $100 spent in a locally owned business, $55 stays in Utah's economy. Comparatively, only $13 stays in our economy if that money is spent with a national online retailer, and only pennies on the dollar stay if you shop with websites such as Amazon.
"If every household in Utah shifted just 10% of their spending on annual basis, more than $1.3 billion would stay in Utah's economy," says Lavelett.
That’s our neighbor, but programs that support local business to enrich the community is close and far. Asheville, NC is a city on the rise as Asheville has experienced a surge fueled by local entrepreneurs and developers who've revitalized the city’s downtown. Today, there are dozens of restaurants, bars, and retailers on just about every street in town that joined forces. They wanted to find a better way to market locally owned businesses as a group in order to stand out from the national chains. They wanted to help educate residents and visitors about the kind of impact we have on the local economy.
The idea that came to life was for the downtown business employees wearing a shirt that said “Asheville Grown/Buy Local”. The idea—and movement—took off from there, after a local web designer created the slogan and logo and a local printer agreed to make up about 200 posters to be hung up around town. The T-shirts and posters were a big hit with customers, and business owners from other neighborhoods adopted them as well.
Asheville has now launched several pro-local campaigns, such as the “Love Asheville” campaign and the Go Local card, a fundraiser for local public schools that get to keep half the money raised from the sale of the $12 card. Now in its fourth year, the “Love Asheville Go Local Card” includes a network of more than 400 businesses that offer perks and discounts to card-carrying customers. Since its inception, sales of the card have raised more than $45,000 for Asheville schools.