Shop Local in the Mission: Dec 4th – 9th
The last day of November and I have done zero “holiday” shopping. In a twisted way, I am quite proud of this fact, but I know I will be buying gifts for some of my closest family and friends before the end of the year. As usual, SF has the answer to my problems, thanks to its Small Business Commission‘s Shop Local First Week from December 4th to 9th.
The Small Business Commission will host its annual Shop Local First campaign and celebration. This year our 4th annual campaign will feature Shop Local First Week, December 4-9, with several neighborhood events planned throughout the city, including special sales at participating businesses. The week will culminate with Shop Local First Day at Union Square on Saturday, December 9th from 10AM-5PM, featuring over 40 participating businesses selling their wares on the square. Also, Mayor Gavin Newsom will present the “Most Innovative Entrepreneur of the Year Award”.
Read on for special deals in the Mission and why buying local is best.
One of the city districts offering special deals will be the Mission. The fact that I can find things on these few blocks that I can’t find anywhere else in the city, or even the state, makes it all the more worth shopping here. The Mission Merchants Association website has a full list of stores offering discounts, but make sure to print out your coupon first – you won’t save money without it.
SF being a pretty eco-forward city, many of us tend to prefer a corner store to the big box chains that try to infiltrate the streets daily. Buying local is about more than just supporting our community, and the SFLOMA easily explains how:
1) Significantly more money re-circulates in San Francisco when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned, businesses: More money is kept in the community because locally owned businesses purchase from other local businesses, service providers and farms. Purchasing locally helps grow other businesses as well as the San Francisco tax base.
2) Most new jobs are provided by local businesses: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and in San Francisco provide the most new jobs to residents.
3) Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of our distinctive character: The unique character of San Francisco is what brought us here and will keep us here. Our tourism businesses also benefit. “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust
4) Local business owners invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
5) Customer service is better: Local businesses often hire people with more specific product expertise for better customer service.
6) Competition and diversity leads to more choices: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.
7) Reduced environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.
8) Public benefits far outweigh public costs: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.
9) Encourages investment in San Francisco: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.
10) Non-profits receive greater support: Non-profit organizations receive an average 350% greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses.