Shopping Local Sees a Boost
You don’t need me to tell you the holiday season is already in full tilt around the Chippewa Valley. Lights are up in our downtowns and parks, store shelves are stacked to the brim with gifts, and holiday events are filling social calendars. Whether you like all the hubbub or not, here’s some good news for everyone: Early reports indicate locally focused shopping is at an all-time high right here in the Valley. The ever-critical Thanksgiving weekend saw record-breaking crowds at many locally owned shops (including here at The Local Store) as more people get interested in shopping small and avoiding the big-box spending sprees. And that’s great news for our communities. It shows we’re continuing to invest in ourselves and the health of our local economies. Since 2011, Volume One has championed our Buy Local Campaign in the pages of the magazine and online at VolumeOne.org (learn more on page 34). More than 100 mom ‘n’ pop business partners have stepped up in that time, all to encourage local shoppers to spend at least $100 in local stores each season. Efforts like those, coupled with the cultural shift we’re seeing toward a renewed interest in our communities’ unique retailers and restaurants, mean it’s all starting to pay off. While I wouldn’t say we’re quite at a tipping point, the groundwork is laid and ready. Now it’s just up to you, along with your friends and family, to take us the rest of the way toward building a vital local economy filled with interesting establishments that create a true sense of place in the Chippewa Valley. So get out there, and keep up the great work.