The biggest shopping season of the year is here. For just a moment I’ll step away from an op-ed on mindless consumerism and stuff-itis to focus on conscious consumerism. This conversation starts right where you have found this newsletter; in your uptown/downtown district. This is that magical region of locally owned businesses housed in mostly historic aged buildings with more ways to tell your town’s evolution stories than individual bricks. Need more? Here you go!

1- Money spent at locally owned businesses is retained within the community. For every $100 spent at a local business at least $68 is retained in the community (Forbes). For every $100 spent at a big box store around $43 stays in the community (Small business Saturday).

2- Shopping local is often an experience in itself. Instead of a mob rush into a giant warehouse we have the opportunity to join in holiday shopping events, grab a cup of coffee in one stop, lunch in another.

3- Okay, sorry just one “stuff-itis” comment; meaningful gifts make for meaningful memories. Locally owned shops are where you go to find those unique thoughtful and useful gifts. For the truly conscious consumer this is also where you’re more likely to find something made with fair labor, made without a negative impact on the environment and possibly made in your own town such as…..

Local Liquids-   Coffee        Soda        Craft Beer        Wine         Tea

Gift Cards to Locally Owned Retail and Dining

Local Art


Local Foods

Bath/Body Products


Wishing you and yours a meaningful season of joy,

~Audrey L Elder