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Shop Local for the Holidays

It’s that time of year again; inboxes piling up with discount codes, promotional flyers on our doorsteps, commercials highlighting the latest gadgets we never thought we’d need (and maybe still don’t) – all enticing us to spend our money with online giants and big-box stores this holiday season.

It’s a campaign designed with intention – offering price cuts so severe, only huge conglomerates, and in many cases retail monopolies, can compete. However, after a strenuous and disruptive year for independent businesses across industry lines, it is important now more than ever to “look local, first” this holiday season.

The habit of finding gifts with just a few clicks and having them arrive on our doorsteps has become second nature to many of us. Unfortunately, when we have the time to pause and take a look behind the curtain, we quickly realize the convenience of this habit comes with consequences that directly impact our neighbors, friends, families and environment.

Local First’s Shop Local for the Holidays campaign aims to highlight the true breadth of products, services, experiences and gifts available for purchase in our own community to help shoppers find something for everyone on their list this season. By choosing to shop with an independently owned merchant, we are choosing to keep more dollars circulating locally; supporting the businesses that in turn support our community.

“Shopping locally is critical to the local economy, especially in rural Colorado,” said Eric Eicher, president of Alpine Bank and title sponsor of Local First’s holiday shopping campaign. “By shopping local, we help small-business owners put food on their table and continue to create jobs in Southwest Colorado.”

Compared to national chain stores and online giants, for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, nearly half goes back into the community and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, less than 15% is recirculated.

Join us in coming together as a community to ensure that our independent businesses have strong end-of-the-year sales by shopping with them early and often this holiday season. Feel extra prepared to support your favorite local businesses, and discover new ones along the way, with Local First’s personalized shopping guides packed with holiday products, promotions and events from your favorite local businesses – all leading up to the Shop Local For the Holidays insert in The Durango Herald on Dec. 3.

In addition to finding out about the unique products and services available in our region, shoppers can get rewarded for supporting local business through the Holiday Reward Program hosted by our friends at the Durango Business Improvement District and the Durango Chamber of Commerce. Running through Dec. 19, gift cards will be given to shoppers who spend $100 or more at local restaurants, retail, personal service, accommodation, attractions and other select businesses around town.

Local First’s Shop Local for the Holidays campaign has been made possible thanks to the support of Alpine Bank, Code of the West Real Estate, Wells Group, Durango Land & Homes, 1st Southwest Bank and Durango’s Downtown Business Improvement District.

Subscribe to Local First’s newsletter for local gift guides sent directly to your inbox at local-first.org or tune into our Instagram and Facebook for updates.

Lauren Haggerty is the Policy and Programs director of Local First. Contact her at lauren@local-first.org.