The holiday season is upon us. Bad sweaters, good food, perfect-present-buying stress and moderately less than ideal weather. As a new mover, it may be tough trying to navigate present buying and holiday event-ing to fill up your newly liberated holiday vacation schedule. With this cheer and fear in mind, I just wanted to share why spending your money at locally-owned establishments is the best remedy there is for any holiday-induced angst. Shopping locally is great because…
- …it helps you meet awesome people. If you are new to a place, it’s hard to meet people. When you go to a local business, you are stepping into an established community. When I first moved out to Oakland, I started parking my bike every day at one of the awesome BART bike stations we have here in the East Bay. After a couple of months of hanging out with the guys there, we all became good friends. Watching a game, grabbing a beer, joining a lawn bowling league, etc. All of these awesome experiences and friendships came about because I patronized a local business. Mathematically, shopping locally=making hella friends.
- …you can show off your new city. Everyone knows that Oakland is cool as hell. So is Berkeley. So is Emeryville. Alameda, Albany, El Cerrito, etc. There are so many people doing so much cool stuff all around us. What better way to show off how cool your new city is than by getting people you love (or just like, whatever) something that represents your awesome new city. Case in point, when I first moved here, I went to see Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff present her new budget at Linden St. Brewery. When I went up to introduce myself after her talk, I saw she was wearing a dope necklace. Anybody recognize this little slice of Oakland?
- …it makes your ‘hood stronger. When you shop at a locally-owned store, the money you spend comes back to your community. In fact, according to science, if you spend $1 in a local shop, 68 cents of that dollar is going to get recirculated into the local economy (a business owner buying groceries next door, picking up some fresh sneaks at the local shoe store, etc.). Conversley, of $1 spent at a chain or big box store, only 48 cents is going to recirculate back. That’s more than half of what you spend going to a galaxy (or city) far, far away. With Oakland going through a housing/affordability crisis, the best way to be a good neighborhood and help to stabilize your community is to buy things from other people that live in your neighborhood.