Our Story

On The Map Thumbnail from 11-14

Over 85 Organizations have joined forces to help encourage folks to Shift their Shopping. Click image to load interactive map.

This campaign, representing more than 38,000 businesses across the U.S. and Canada, encourages residents to take job creation and economic concerns into their own hands by exercising their power to strengthen their own local economies.

This is an effective strategy all year-round, but especially important at the holidays:  The National Retail Federation predicted holiday shoppers to spend an average of $704.18 on holiday gifts and seasonal merchandise in 2011. NRF projected holiday retail sales to grow 2.8 percent during the months of November and December, 2011, to $465.6 billion.

Read more in the news release (pdf) announcing the debut in fall of 2011

Buying Locally Creates More Local Wealth and Jobs

2012 Utah Study

Numerous studies have shown each dollar spent at a locally owned, independent businesses creates far greater community wealth. The most recent, published by Civic Economics and Local First Utah in August of 2012, Locally-owned retailers were found to spend 52% of their revenues in the local economy, compared to just 14% with chain retailers.

Buy Independent / Buy Local Campaigns Make a Difference*

Annual surveys over the last five years by the Institute for Local Self Reliance show that places that “go local” do better. In the 2012 survey, independent businesses in communities with an active “buy indie/buy local” campaign run by a local business/citizen alliance saw revenues grow 7.2% in 2011, compared to 2.6% for those in areas without an alliance.

See the latest report from ILSR. A graph showing results from the three most recent surveys is posted here.

*All campaigns measured by these surveys were operated by local organizations dedicated to supporting local independents and affiliated with the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and/or Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). Impacts of other buy local campaigns are likely to be much less (contact us for details).

ShiftYourShopping combines the efforts of  the groups noted below with more than 150 local coalitions comprised of more than 38,000 local businesses.  These grassroots, community-based groups use the tools and templates provided here to execute campaigns to suit their own style and community. Anyone is welcome to use these resources to help shift spending where you live.

provides access to resources from all of these campaigns, including templates that allow anyone to spread the message easily in their community.

How Local Alliances Help Small Businesses Thrive Year Round
For more than a decade, such businesses have been uniting through  grassroots programs in towns and cities all across the country. They work together to help all locally owned, independent businesses in a community to thrive through direct assistance, public education and more.

A single merchant has limited ability to shift attitudes or consumer spending, but by building strength in numbers, we can create broad support for independent business locally and advocate for their interests.

Shift Your Shopping Partners

Here are some resources to help you start or improve “buy local” campaigns and broader pro-local business activity in your community, as well as research relevant issues.

  • American Independent Business AllianceAMIBA provides a wide array of tools, templates and support for independent business owners and advocates to launch effective public education efforts through a single business or through buy local campaigns; organize group purchasing, marketing and other collaborative work; and advance policy initiatives that favor community-rooted businesses rather than absentee-owned corporations.
  • Business Alliance of Local Living EconomiesBALLE works to catalyze, strengthen and connect networks of locally owned independent businesses that are connecting the dots between independent retail, sustainable agriculture, green building, renewable energy, community capital, zero-waste manufacturing, and other building blocks of a “Local Living Economy.” BALLE is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Remember, you don’t need to commit to leading a local alliance, you just need to instigate interest!

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6 Responses to Our Story

  1. We’ll be holding our second informational meeting regarding the implementation of a gift card program for our downtown Canonsburg businesses and Canonsburg Chamber of Commerce members tomorrow. I am so excited about this buy local effort, and pairing our message with Shift Your Shopping has me over the moon!!

  2. Love Schuylkill County? Then put your money where your heart is! We’re encouraging everyone to take economic challenges into their own hands by exercising their power to strengthen their local economies.
    Shopping locally is more than just convenient. Studies show that for every $100 spent at a chain store, a mere $13 circulates back into the community. Conversely, the same $100 spent at a hometown business circulates $45 back into the community. Unique high quality gifts that benefit our communities and way of life; what better way to truly give! Contact us at http://www.schuylkill.org or 570-622-7700 for our easy local holiday shopping guide!

  3. Peter Rose says:

    This effort, and all of the efforts of Amiba, Balle, New Rules Project, 3/50, etc., are phenomenal. Beyond words, so great.

    YOU ARE APPRECIATED. I am working on getting my local business association to elevate and explode, and this page alone is reason to join all of the above and get active. Right now there is nothing, despite incredible resources such as yours.

    You give me hope, you inspire completely. Thank you!

  4. The Shenandoah Potters Guild will be holding it’s 15th annual Holiday pottery show and sale the weekend after Thanksgiving in Winchester Virginia.
    The War Memorial Building @ 1001 E. Cork St. JIM BARNETT PARK Winchester, VA Nov 26 & 27th 10am-4pm.
    We are a guild of local valley artisans specializing in wheel thrown and hand-built pottery.
    Each year we do fund raisers for local charities, as well as host educational workshops on pottery and other art related subjects.
    Support local artisans! Buy Local!

  5. Angela Ruth says:

    Until I started looking to buy local, I didn’t know about a treasure in our community in downtown Tampa – The One World Gift Shop of The First Presbyterian Church. It’s a little storefront downtown on the corner of Florida and Zack where amazing crafts from all of the world can be found and unbelievable prices. Baskets, pots, dolls, ornaments, nativity crafts, puppets, purses, jewelry – all made by fair labor trade partners with the church in places like Nepal, Argentina, Haiti, and several countries in Africa. The proceeds of the shop help local charities in our town – so its win win all around. I wouldn’t have known if I hadn’t looked. So LOOK!!!! :)

  6. Sondra says:

    This is a fine idea. I have been doing this in my own community in West Palm Beach Florida for many years now. I always tell people that if they are going to buy plants for their gardening projects, go to local nurseries not Home Depot. You get bigger better plants for much less money because there is no middle man to pay when you go directly to the growers.

    Plus, when I introduce myself to the people who own the nurseries I always tell them what I am doing: they always appreciate that I have chosen to give my money to them and not a big box store. They take time to teach me how to grow what I buy and I look forward to visiting with them and showing them how great their plants look in my garden.

    It’s all very nice because these people are my community. My favorite nursery is Excelsa. They have a great web site and their garden is fabulous.

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Welcome -- this is the 2011 version of the Shift Your Shopping website!


You're probably looking for this: Shift Your Shopping in 2012!