Buy Local Santa Monica Unwrapped This Holiday Season

Tuesday, 18 Dec 2012, 1:01:00 AM

Special To The Mirror

By Jennifer Taylor / Buy Local Santa Monica Committee Chair

This holiday season, as you’re filling the stockings, lighting the candles, shopping for last minute gifts and preparing for festive meals, please buy local. When you shop at a local business, not only are you getting unique products and quality services from your neighbors, but you’re also giving a gift back to your community.

This holiday season, we asked local businesses for “perfect holiday gift” ideas.

From stocking stuffers to handmade gems, ponchos to pizza ovens, our businesses have you covered.

Many are offering a special 10 percent holiday discount and/or giving a donation to the schools when you mention “Buy Local.” For more information visit www.buylocalsm.com/news-spotlights.

Speaking of schools, did you know that more than $6.5 million was raised for Santa Monica’s schools last year, thanks to local purchases? This funding was used to purchase textbooks, employ 43 teachers, fund summer school programs, and to hire a Samohi college counselor. Buying local makes a difference to our schools and our community.

A recent study by Civic Economics found that for every dollar you spend at a locally owned business, 68 cents stays in the local economy in the form of taxes, wages, local purchasing, employee spend, community donations and more. For purchases made at non-locally owned businesses (e.g. chain stores), 43 cents stays in the community. It all helps. Just think what would happen if every Santa Monica resident took the Buy Local Challenge pledge to spend $50 each month at favorite local businesses. This is just what a group of 80 seniors (and their parents) are doing at Samohi and they’re blogging about it! To join the challenge and read the great blogs, visit www.buylocalsantamonica.com/buylocalchallenge.

The Buy Local Santa Monica campaign was launched in 2009 by representatives of the Santa Monica business community and the City of Santa Monica to support local businesses and raise awareness of the community, economic and environmental benefits of choosing local first.

Local buying strengthens our community.

By joining forces with other regional and national efforts, including Small Business Saturday, we are working to translate awareness into action to support a vibrant and sustainable local economy. For more info on the campaign, visit www.buylocalsm.com.

In addition to perfect gift ideas and joining the Buy Local Challenge, we want to hear from you about the kinds of products and services you need in your neighborhood. We’ve joined forces with Main Street, Montana Avenue, Pico Boulevard and Downtown SM to launch a Buy Local resident survey www.surveymonkey.com/s/BuyLocalSM. Feedback will help inform existing businesses about unmet resident needs, and will also be used to help attract new businesses to Santa Monica.

Your dollars spent in Santa Monica make a difference. Thank you for supporting your local businesses and your community. Happy Holidays from Buy Local SM!

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