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Celebrate local independent business on Independence Day

As we celebrate the anniversary of our national independence, it’s also a good time to celebrate how local independent businesses contribute to the strength of our communities. In forming a new nation, our country forged a new national identity. In similar fashion, local independent businesses help to shape the unique character of our communities.

Urban areas dominated by corporate brands tend to look and feel the same. While sameness can be convenient, it robs us of diversity of experience and local flavor. If we wanted to live somewhere that looks like everywhere else, we wouldn’t be living in La Plata County.

The idea of independence is deeply rooted in our nation. It fueled our founders to build a new government and continues to empower citizens to dream big. Whether that dream is forming a nonprofit to advocate for our environment or opening a shop full of locally made goods, our independence is what makes our community thrive.

Reasons to support local independent businesses include:

  • They create more jobs locally, offer greater loyalty to their employees, and often pay better wages and benefits.
  • They need comparatively less infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services compared to corporate stores entering the community.
  • They build stronger communities by supporting local events, sports teams and charities 250% more than global corporations.
  • They keep money in the community: Buying local recirculates four times more money in the local economy compared to shopping online or at chain stores.

This Fourth of July holiday, spend some time enjoying Durango’s creative side. Check out special events hosted by businesses participating in Durango First Friday on July 5 downtown and throughout town. They’re listed on the Local First website: local-first.org/first-friday.

Happy Independence Day!

Doug McCarthy is CEO and Ashley Christie is membership and communications specialist at Local First.