Austin, Texas started it with "Austin Unchained", a day in which all Austinians were encouraged to "Keep Austin Weird" by shopping only in local stores for one day.
The American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) latched on to the concept and began promoting it nationwide.
Now America Unchained is happening all over, including right here in Jackson. Many downtown businesses are having events today to encourage you to Shop Local. But the question still remains...
Why should you shop local? What advantage does is bring you?
Here are five reasons why you should consider shopping local this Christmas season.
#1 Building Community: The casual encounters you enjoy at neighborhood businesses and the public spaces around them build relationships and local cohesiveness. They’re the ultimate social networking sites! Have you ever been to Jackson Coffee Company and didn't see someone you knew?
#2 Economic Vitality: Each dollar you spend at a local independent business returns 3.5 times more money to our local economy than one spent at a chain—both a short and long-term solution to our local economy. Just a 10% shift in your buying habits from chain to local stores could have millions of dollars of impact on Jackson.
#3 Character: Why did you choose to live here? What keeps you? Independent businesses help give Jackson County its one-of-a-kind personality. Plus, the owners of these businesses are more rooted in the community, more involved in its growth, more passionate about what makes Jackson great.
#4 A Healthier Environment: Independent, community-serving businesses are people-sized. They consume less land, carry more locally-made products, and locate closer to residents—creating less traffic and pollution. With all the talk this election about energy, one of the easiest ways to go green is to shop local.
#5 Lower Taxes: Local businesses put less demand on our roads, sewers, and safety services than most chains and generate more tax revenue per sales dollar, helping keep your taxes lower. Again, another hot topic from this past election could easily be solved by shopping local.
And if those five reasons aren't enough, go to http://www.jacksonlocalfirst.com/ to find out more.
Enjoy the freedom of becoming unchained!