Jan. 12, 2010 — The big holiday shopping season is over now. We hope you all made an effort to spend many of your gift dollars locally.
While a certain consumer fatigue is inevitable after the holidays, let’s not let our initiative to buy locally flag in the new year. The winter months are often the toughest ones for our local merchants.
To counteract the January doldrums, here’s an idea we picked up from Think Local First Nevada County Foothills.
Spending $20 a week is easy. Spending that money at locally owned, independent businesses is easy, too. For the next 20 weeks, we challenge everyone in our communities to spend $20 a week at local businesses and to get 20 friends to join the challenge. Anyone can get on board anytime during the challenge's run.
“Most of us spend 20 bucks a week to eat, shop, play and just plain live. The 20/20/20 Challenge gets us to spend it mindfully and help us generate strength and durability for our community economy," says Ken Hale, president of Think Local First.
He points out that while $20 for 20 weeks may be a mere $400 injected into the local economy, when the 20 friends multiply that, it climbs to $8,000. Then those 20 multiply that by another 20, and so on.
"That's a lot of homegrown stimulus money," Hale says.
Hale points out, "Dollars spent stay in the region — here on Main Street, not off to Wall Street — and re-circulate over and over. This leads to increased employment and more stable jobs; greater support for local charities — Little League, school groups, advocacy organizations all benefit more from locally owned businesses; and we preserve our unique historical communities."
To find out more about the Nevada County effort and to see how others are spending their $20, visit localfirstfoothills.org.
We’re not asking you to spend money you don’t have, but to shift some that you might spend elsewhere to local businesses.
Think Local First seeks to create local living economies by ensuring that economic power resides locally, sustaining healthy community life, environmental quality and long-term economic prosperity. Through events, marketing of local independent business and other educational efforts, Think Local First fosters support for the business and people that make our communities special, strong and unique.
Lassen County is worth investing in. We hope you’ll join us in the 20/20/20 Challenge.
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