On November 1, the seventh annual Shift Your Shopping holiday campaign launched for the 2017 season, encouraging individuals and businesses to “shift” more of their visits for holiday shopping, entertaining and dining to local independent businesses. Eighteen business organizations and networks in towns and cities throughout New Hampshire are kicking off this collaborative campaign. The campaign continues through December.
Shift Your Shopping’s mission is to “build a tradition that strengthens local economies, expands local employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding holiday shopping experience.”
Monadnock Buy Local and Seacoast Local launched the Shift Your Shopping concept with partners around the nation in 2010. Now they’re inviting like-minded organizations to grow the campaign in the Granite State. Partners bring their own local flair, using Shift Your Shopping templates as well as incorporating events like Plaid Friday and Cider Monday (pro-local antidotes to the chain-centered Black Friday and “Cyber Monday”).The campaign also encourages people to employ the energy and resources of Small Business Saturday as part of season-long outreach. Participants share stories using the hashtags #shiftyourshopping and #shiftyourshoppingNH.
Shift Your Shopping’s neighborhood appeal promotes a friendly, community-centered alternative to the consumer frenzy that descends upon us each November.
Jen Risley, Executive Director of Monadnock Buy Local, notes that ”When even marketers whose business is promoting Black Friday report that 79% of their website users don’t like to shop on that day, you know the times are changing!”
The campaign also makes a timely economic case for buying local. Every dollar spent at a local, independent business returns 2-3 times more to be re-spent in the community than a dollar spent at a non-local business. With consumers reporting that they will spend an average $967 for holiday shopping this year, according to a 2017 National Retail Federation survey, a shift to local purchases represents a significant contribution to local jobs and taxes. Sustained “buy local” campaigns have demonstrated their capacity to shift sizable portions of that spending from chains and remote businesses to local entrepreneurs, according to the Institute for Local Self Reliance.
Karen Marzloff, executive director of Seacoast Local, notes that redirecting spending on gifts, dining, beverages, decorations, party planning, and local experiences creates an opportunity to make a real impact on the local economy. “Regardless of the size of your holiday budget, each dollar matters when we Buy Local. Your gift can produce a smile today, and also build a legacy in your community for tomorrow.”
Partners are businesses and organizations that understand the increased economic and community benefits that accrue when we spend dollars at locally owned, independent businesses. They also value programs and policies that build a local, green and fair economy rooted in the Granite State. Partners to date include: New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, Northern Community Investment Corporation, Vital Communities’ Local First Alliance (Upper Valley), White Mountain Independents, NH Made, NH Food Alliance, North Country Farmers Co-op, Hannah Grimes Center (Keene), Monadnock Food Co-op, Edible New Hampshire, The Monadnock Beat, Ash Hill Center for the Arts (Swanzey), Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce, Monadnock Arts Alive, Portsmouth Clippers Farm to School, and PortsmouthNH.com.
The ShiftYourShoppingNH.org website provides a gateway to resources from many community campaigns and includes easy-to-use graphics and activities that allow participating partners to spread the critical message easily where they live. Visit the site for for information on the campaign, partnering organizations, special events, and stories from Granite State communities making the shift in 2017.
Seacoast Local and Monadnock Buy Local, are business-led, grassroots non-profit organizations that encourage people to “think local first” when it comes to their money and their time. They are among the co-founders of the national Plaid Friday and Shift Your Shopping for the Holidays campaigns, in collaboration with national local economy leaders The American Independent Business Alliance, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, and 150 local business organizations representing over 40,000 locally owned and independent businesses across North America.