The Shift Your Shopping campaign engages over 160 local business organizations across the U.S. and Canada encouraging residents to take job creation and economic concerns into their own hands by strengthening their own local economies. This grassroots campaign provides a platform to highlight work done in communities across North America and provide open-source tools and resources to communities, organizations and small businesses.
Choosing local and independent is an effective strategy all year-round, but especially important at the holidays: The National Retail Federation estimates that $602.1 billion will be spent on holiday shopping in 2013, a 3.9 percent increase from last year. This makes the holiday season a “make or break” time for many of your hometown retailers. Consider the overall value your independent retailers provide you, as well as the important civic and economic benefits they offer your community when making your shopping choices.
Read more in the press release announcing the 2013 campaign
Buying Locally Creates More Local Wealth and Jobs
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.
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 do effective public education through a single business or through buy local campaigns; organize group purchasing, marketing and other collaborative work; and advance policies that support community-rooted businesses rather than absentee-owned corporations. They offer a free primer on developing effective buy local campaigns. AMIBA.net.
- BALLE believes that Prosperity for All begins at the local level and that by connecting local leaders who are re-thinking their industries, funders who are investing in the local economy movement, and network organizers who can mobilize on a broad scale, we will create a stronger, more resilient, and fair economy. BALLE is a 501c3 non-profit organization. Join us at: www.bealocalist.org
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!