‘Small’ Ways to Show Your Patriotism
Americans have made a ritual out of celebrating the Fourth of July by shooting fireworks, grilling burgers and hot dogs, and donning red, white, and blue apparel. It’s ironic then, that our spending habits during this holiday do not reflect the “All-American” aspect of this celebration because they don’t actually support American businesses. Typically, most American flags and fireworks aren’t American-made. Every year, the U.S. imports $5.4 million worth of the holiday’s most iconic relic, the Star Spangled Banner, from overseas countries.
So what can you do this holiday weekend to help? Shop small, shop local! Buy coffee at a local-owned cafe, support a small grocery store or bakery, stop by an independent bookstore. We are all for a global economy, but this weekend we hope to sway you to make patriotic purchases by supporting small, local-owned businesses - which benefits our local economies, communities, and even us, as consumers too.
Here’s how being patriotic by shopping small creates a mutually beneficial relationship for consumers and local entrepreneurs:
Circulates money into the local economy
One study states that independent businesses return more than three times as much money from sales into the economy than chain competitors. The money spent at local businesses recirculates when business owners spend their money in their own communities too. And local businesses pay local taxes, which go toward public infrastructure like schools, parks and libraries.
Helps communities and small businesses flourish
When we purchase from small businesses, they grow! This allows them to hire more employees, creating more jobs available to the local community. Small businesses are also more likely to donate to community organizations than big chains because they are invested in their community.
Creates more conscious consumers
Shopping local decreases our environmental impact and ecological footprint. Purchasing from a local business means that the business tends to source products locally. This lessens unnecessary packaging, waste, transportation, and traffic congestion. Ultimately, shopping small may reduce pollution and improve overall health.
To commemorate our independence and celebrate our patriotism, let’s not just spend, but rather, invest in our communities by shopping at local independent stores. We can create jobs for our neighbors and improve our community and infrastructures. We believe a big part of being an American is the commitment to lift others up, so think of it not as a purchase, but an investment in your community and local businesses!