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
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.
*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.
- AMIBA 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.
- BALLE 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.
Indie Bound is the pro-independent marketing campaign of the American Booksellers Association.
- The Institute for Local Self-Reliance is the go-to source for economic impact studies and other research that documents the power of local ownership, as well as pro-local policy examples and explanations. Their Community Banking Initiative provides unique resources.
Remember, you don’t need to commit to leading a local alliance, you just need to instigate interest!