On November 21st, 2009, take part in America Unchained, a campaign by the American Business Alliance (AMIBA) in which everyone in the US is encouraged to support only locally-owned independent businesses for the entire day! This is a great opportunity to build awareness of indie artisans and crafters in your local economy, as well as any other non-chain businesses. Whether shopping, eating out, or doing other business for this entire day, AMIBA says, can "maximize the impact of your dollars and inject potentially millions more into the local economy!"
As the holidays and shopping madness fast approach, consider purchasing local handmade gifts for everyone on your list! Did you know that local independent businesses create about three and a half times the local economic activity as chains do?! AMIBA director Jennifer Rocke explains that indie biz "pays local employees, use the goods and services of other local indie biz, and give back to the community far more than chains." According to Rockne, independents generate 70% more local economic impact per square foot than chain stores! Pledging to buy only handmade for the holidays (or anytime) can give a huge boost to your neighborhood's economic well-being. You'll have the perfect opportunity at Pittsburgh's I Made It! for the Holidays at the Union Project on December 5th, when 50 crafty area vendors will gather to vend their handmade goodies!
The choice of what businesses to patronize can have huge and lasting consequences. Take America Unchained on the 21st as a chance to spread the word that small indie businesses like artisans and crafters are critical parts of your cities' cultural, social, and economic impact. Supporting them is better for us and for the community's health and prosperity!
Thanks to Karen Holsopple of Pittsburgh's East End Food Co-op for her article that inspired this one!