Is your email inbox full of marketing emails from national retailers? It’s hard to resist because we’re all busy…it’s so much easier to just buy your present from a big box store or national retailer when they’re offering BIG discounts and even free shipping/guaranteed shipping before Christmas.
We hope you consider SHIFTING some of your spending this holiday season to a local business because…
Growing up, thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. I think it’s because my birthday usually lands on Thanksgiving weekend. Nothing beats good food (including birthday cake) and time with my family.
We usually spend Thanksgiving with my uncles, aunties and cousins. I come from a big family – my dad has 9 brothers and sisters so you can imagine how many cousins I have – and scheduling time to meet up with everyone is pretty difficult. Thanksgiving was the only holiday that we could count on where usually, everyone can make it.
Has anyone else noticed how corporate America squirmed its way into this holiday? Many retail chains are open during Thanksgiving now and I feel sad for retail workers who HAVE to work this holiday season. As consumers, are we really that hungry for sales? Do we really need one more day to shop? Our society has moved away from thanksgiving being a national holiday to be spent with friends and family into the biggest shopping weekend. What do you think about this? Will you be shopping on Thanksgiving?
Whatever you do, we hope that you and your loved ones have a wonderful thanksgiving. We really are thankful for your support of Shift Local and we hope that if you do shop this weekend, you make your way to local and independent shops.
When do you start shopping for holiday presents? Do you do most of your shopping during Thanksgiving weekend? We hope that you consider supporting local and independent businesses on
“Black Friday” Plaid Friday! Check out Oakland Grown’s website for more information.
These big companies oppose labeling GMO’s. Very unfortunate considering they are responsible for feeding so much of our population. But it makes sense since all they care about are profits. Hope you’ll think twice before purchasing from these brands.
List of companies:
Independent We Stand asked acclaimed chef Todd Jurich to prepare a meal using ingredients sourced locally and the very same meal with ingredients sourced at a big box grocery store. This video made us hungry.
“As consumers we are very weak,” so what else can we do to help change the world? We are going against a very powerful and well-structured institutions. We agree with Stacey Mitchell that we need to change the underlying structures and work collectively.
Stacey Mitchell believes that buying local is only the first step and that we need to transform the “buy local” trend to political action. As we mentioned around election time, voting is one way to make a difference. Now that elections are over, it does not mean that we have to stop here. Marc and I want to do more than buy or patronize local businesses. This is one reason why we are working on I LOB Resources but we realize that we can do more. What are your thoughts on this? What can you do to help build a better economy?
“Walmart now captures $1 of every $4 Americans spend on groceries. It’s on track to claim one-third of food sales within five years. [As a result,] Walmart has dramatically altered the food system — triggering massive consolidation, driving down prices to farmers, and leaving more families struggling to afford healthy food.”
Here is the infographic from ILSR:
As consumers, we need to do our part in supporting small businesses so that they can expand and hire more employees. Support your independent, locally-owned businesses and help create jobs to get America working again!
Did you know that…
Source: Independent We Stand
Lawyers are always linked to politics but I was resistant to it for a long time. Even as a law student, I did not really want to be involved. I thought I could make a difference by volunteering and being an advocate for those in need. Now I know that’s not simply enough.
Marc and I created Shift Local because we understood the importance of helping sustain small businesses and specifically, independent, locally-owned businesses. As Nina Vaca, founder and CEO, Pinnacle Technical Resources, said:
Small businesses create around 60% of this country’s jobs. Small businesses will continue to be responsible for the growth of the economy. Small businesses will take this country out of the recession.
However, politics play a big role in the success of small businesses. In other words, if we really want to make a change in our community, to take control of our community’s well being, then we all have to be part of the political process.
I think there are many of us who feel like our vote won’t really make a difference, or that all politicians are the same and voting won’t really change anything. This mentality denies us of an opportunity to be heard. If we don’t vote, then no one will pay attention to the things we care about. Why would politicians care about what concerns us, what we stand for, what we believe in when we can’t even get ourselves to participate in the process?
Shift Local encourages you to go register to vote. We don’t care who you vote for or how you vote as long as you do. But the first step is making sure you register to vote. Keep in mind the following dates:
To register to vote online: Click here
If you have questions: Click here
If you need assistance in other languages: Click here
Please help us spread the word by sharing this post on all of your social networking sites. Here’s the shortlink: http://wp.me/p2jA00-eY
Also, check out this video by 18millionrising.org:
We apologize for the lack of posts but Marc’s mom has been very sick for the past month but she is now finally getting better so thank you to our friends who kept her in their prayers. We’re slowly getting back into the groove of things and we thank our readers for your patience.
I just read an article by Stacy Mitchell of ilsr.org where she explains that local ownership makes “communities healthier, wealthier and wiser.” Mitchell cites several studies that shows how supporting local businesses benefits the community:
Shift local, get healthy: A recent study by Troy Blanchard, Charles Tolbert, and Carson Mencken, published in the Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society showed that “counties with a vibrant small-business sector have lower rates of mortality and a lower prevalence of obesity and diabetes.”
Shift local, get civic action and participation: Another study by Blanchard and Todd Matthews, found that “residents of communities with highly concentrated economies tend to vote less and are less likely to keep up with local affairs, participate in associations, engage in reform efforts or participate in protest activities at the same levels as their counterparts in economically dispersed environments.”
Shift local, see decline in poverty, infant mortality and crime rates: Research has “linked the regional market share of large retail chains with higher rates of poverty, infant mortality, and crime.”
Mitchell explains that local businesses help communities thrive because business owners’ “personal and financial interests are tied to the community’s well-being and, as a result, they are often active in various civic endeavors.” This is one reason why Marc and I target owner-managed and independent businesses because we know that they are more likely to give back to the community.
Mitchell also points out that “strong entrepreneurial culture and local control of economic resources have more capacity to solve problems on their own and are more resilient and adaptable in times of distress.” In other words, let’s not allow the big box chain executives dictate the way our communities run.
Lastly, Mitchell believes that “local businesses nurture social capital is by creating environments that foster social ties. People shopping at farmers’ markets and traditional Main Street business districts are more likely to run into neighbors and engage in a greater number of conversations than those navigating the aisles of a big-box store.”
Of course shifting local alone won’t solve all of our community’s problems and these studies only show a correlation between buying local and the positive effects discussed above. Shifting local is just one small way we can support our community and we should not stop there in order to create a greater East Bay. So let’s all shift local, and nourish our community.
Bar study had not been a pleasant way to spend my summer and there’s been a few days when I don’t even bother leaving my apartment because it feels like such an effort to change out of my pajamas…but when I do, I try to find a good local cafe to study and support local businesses. I discovered Sonoma Coffee Cafe today and I was glad to see that they have free wifi and that they support local vendors.
Anyway back to my practice multiple choice exam and I hope you have a wonderful day!
The Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development, along with key agencies of state government, works to facilitate economic growth through collaboration with small businesses. Supporting small-scale private-sector job creators is among our most promising strategies to enhance California’s human capital, expand job opportunities and increase our competitive advantage in the global marketplace.
I’m not quite sure where he is going with this proclamation but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. It’s great to see public servants support small businesses but we don’t need to be in politics to make a difference.
Getting our communities aware about how supporting small businesses is important but the next step is to take action. For us, it’s about making a conscious shift from big chains to independent and locally owned businesses, working on this blog and organizing cash mobs but we can’t do it alone. We need the entire East Bay to work on this together in order to have a successful shift local campaign. Support your local businesses not just during a cash mob or small business month, think local and shift your spending everyday to help our communities thrive.
We hope to see you all at Croll’s Pizza in Alameda and please RSVP on Facebook but as the article stated, participating in a cash mob is not the only way you can help invest in our communities. We should all be trying to shift local everyday.
You can shift local when you buy groceries and gifts and you can even shift local when you travel. Were a little behind on posting more about our recent trip to Maui but here’s a picture Marc being extra excited about Local Food, an independent and locally-owned business in Maui.
For every $100 spent on a locally-owned and indpendent business, $68 goes back in local economic activity. When you spend $100 in a national chain, only $43 goes back and buying from an out-of-state online seller who do not collect sales tax is virtually a total drain on the local economy.
Join us to cash mob a locally-owned and independent business in Alameda on Sunday 5/20 at 4:00 and spend your hard-earned dollars in the East Bay. When you shift local, you help enrich the East Bay! If you have not RSVP’d yet on our Cash Mob Alameda event, please do so and help spread the word.
To our friends across the bay, definitely check out SFLOMA and their directory to find local businesses and shift local in the beautiful city of San Francisco!
Somehow today ended up being a shift local kind of day. Marc is meeting up a friend for lunch at Cafe Jolie and I’m studying for my Con Law final at Wescafe in Alameda today. Then for dinner, we are hitting up Croll’s Pizza.
Alameda has such vibrant and cute locally-owned restaurants. Another reason to shift local is to maintain the unique feel of our towns. What are you doing today to support your local businesses?
Earth Day 2012 is on April 22, 2012. There’s lots of ways that we can bring awareness to Earth Day and EarthDay.org provides a list of what we can do or events we can join to show our appreciation of the planet and demand its protection.
At the very least, we can all shift local. Studies show that supporting local businesses benefits the environment. For example, local businesses use less fossil fuels from the long transportation routes. We really like how this infograph from elocal.com shows how much a shift from chains can make a positive impact in our environment.
What do you think about the infograph? What are you doing for Earth Day?