We’re already weeks into the “holiday shopping season” — which encompasses about one-sixth of the calendar year — and the frenzied peek of the season is nearly upon us. An inescapable deluge of advertising urges us to spend big on mass-produced gifts from chain stores and online giants. But, some of the joy of giving is lost in that experience.
As an independent media partner in the Shift your Shopping NH campaign, we at PortsmouthNH.com encourage you to shift more of your holiday spending to locally owned businesses this year. That includes making the shift from Black Friday, the shopping bonanza promoted by big box stores, to Plaid Friday, a more leisurely alternative designed to support local, independent businesses.
This year, Plaid Friday takes place on Nov. 24, the day after Thanksgiving. Many local businesses will offer special holiday deals, and both shoppers and employees are encouraged to show their support by wearing plaid.
Shift your Shopping is a national movement that reminds citizens to help promote job creation and economic growth by purchasing gifts and other holiday items at indie businesses from Nov. 1 to Dec. 31. In New Hampshire, the movement is spearheaded by Seacoast Local and Monadnock Buy Local.
Seacoast shoppers are invited to take the Shift Your Shopping Pledge, vowing to shift at least 10 percent of your holiday purchases from big chains to local businesses. Following Plaid Friday, the campaign continues with Small Business Saturday on Nov. 25 and Cider Monday on Nov. 27. During the latter event, a locally oriented alternative to Cyber Monday, participating businesses will serve free cups of cider.
The benefits of buying local are numerous. It helps build community, strengthen the local economy, create a healthier environment, lower taxes, and increase wealth for residents, among other things. It also makes for a more enjoyable holiday shopping experience, celebrating with fellow community members.
For more information, visit shiftyourshoppingnh.org.