Originally posted in the Monadnock Shopper News
We hope your focus is centered on family, the anticipation of enjoying an amazing spread of food (featuring locally grown food) and giving thanks. However, we know other strong forces are hard at work, trying to divert your focus to “saving BIG dollars” this holiday weekend. To counter these forces, Monadnock Buy Local extends a weekend of events to encourage you to spend your time and dollars strengthening connections — connections with your family and friends, and with local business owners and their staff — while reflecting on how your purchases impact others.
“Walking the path toward solutions for the crises of our day means walking back again toward connection,” said Michelle Long, Executive Director of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. “So if we operate from a place of recognizing our interdependence, of caring for each other, of believing that maximizing our relationships with each other matters more than maximizing a single bottom line … we would, for instance, choose to buy from people we have a relationship with.”
Our first offering, to help you build and strengthen your connections, is Plaid Friday. Wear plaid on Friday, November 27th to show your support for our local economy and commitment to buying from locally owned businesses this holiday season. It’s a day intentionally crafted to be enjoyable and leisurely.
Some Monadnock Buy Local members are serving as Plaid Friday Hubs. Hubs will photograph customers decked out in plaid and answer questions about Plaid Friday and Monadnock Buy Local. Discover the closest Plaid Friday Hub to you.
Kimberly Peck Photography will set up a Plaid Friday Photo Booth outside of the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Three local farmers will set up their own tables next to the photo booth, including Holland Homestead Farm, Woodard Sugar House and FiberDreams Farm. Photographs will be available for purchase through Kimberly Peck Photography via kimberlypeckphotography.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. Monadnock Buy Local will add all the photos taken to our annual collage, celebrating all who wore plaid.
Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday, like Plaid Friday, is another day to remind you to “Shift Your Shopping” — a national campaign encouraging individuals and businesses to “shift” more of their holiday gift, entertaining and dining purchases from chains to local independent businesses. More than 180 local business organizations across the U.S. and Canada, collectively representing more than 46,000 locally owned and independent businesses, are participating in Shift Your Shopping this year.
Becky McCray of Small Biz Survival shared, “We can opt out of the crowds, and choose when we want to spend our money with local businesses that support our family and community throughout the holidays instead.”
On Monday, November 30th it’s Cider Monday. Step away from your computer and pop on into the Toadstool Bookshops in Peterborough, Keene and Milford for a free cup of cider. In response to Cyber Monday, a day when online merchants offer deep discounts to divert your attention away from buying locally, Willard Williams of the Toadstool Bookshops dreamed up this new tradition.
“And Cider Monday, already in stores from New England to Illinois, went international,” states Toadstool’s website. “Several shops, led by Coho Books, in the town of Campbell River on Vancouver Island, British Columbia joined the effort last year to take a bite out of Cyber Monday.”
Learn more about Cider Monday in Keene and in Peterborough.
We love to boast about the positive impacts locally owned businesses have on our community — like how much they contribute to nonprofits. However, the news tends to focus on national chains and their give back programs. #GivingTuesday is the perfect day to shine a light on the fact that small businesses donate more than double as much per sales dollar to charities, compared to big businesses.
What if we could aggregate donations from individual independent businesses to show just how big of an impact we have? The Monadnock United Way and the Saving Bank of Walpole are collaborating with us to do just that. We’ll share how much Monadnock Buy Local members collectively donate to the Monadnock United Way and the Savings Bank of Walpole will create an advertising campaign to promote the message that supporting locally owned businesses increases charitable donations and civic engagement in our community.
Please remember that when you shop at locally owned businesses this holiday season, you’re purchases give a gift back to our community and local economy. The money you spend recirculates through our economy and generates ripple effects that join with others to create new jobs, charitable contributions and more. That ripple effect is four times stronger when you spend your money at locally owned businesses instead of chain stores.
For even more opportunities to Shift Your Shopping, visit monadnocklocal.org/shiftyourshopping.
Thank you for supporting locally owned businesses this holiday season and beyond.