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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Somerville Local Shopping Extravaganza Hits The ‘Ville!

Somerville is alive with a bounty of holiday shopping this season! From December 2 through December 11, an array craft markets and retailers make Somerville the place to find something for everyone on your gift list. Move away from the crowds of the malls and go local, supporting neighborhood entrepreneurs as you uncover unique items for sale all around the City.

Somerville Mayor, Joe Curtatone, says “Everyone knows Somerville as a great destination for festivals and restaurants, but it’s also a fantastic place to shop. Our stores embody the individual, artistic spirit that has become Somerville’s hallmark in this region. You have a selection here unlike anywhere else. In Somerville you can find unique, personalized gifts that will mean a whole lot more to the people on your holiday shopping list. And when you shop local, it saves you time and it keeps money pumping through your local economy.”

Mimi Graney, Executive Director of Union Square Main Streets, says, “At the array of local craft market you’re able to connect directly with the artisan who made the piece. And like at the farmers market, the shopping experience is a fun, community-building event. Leave the car at home, invite your friends, and shop local before shopping anywhere else.”

Shopping local has benefits that last all year long. Joe Grafton, Executive Director of Somerville Local First explains, “Shifting from non-local to local spending has a profound impact on the local Somerville economy because of the multiplier effect – a larger share of your dollars will stay in the region and work to strengthen Somerville and the surrounding communities.”

Somerville Shift Your Shopping Week features:

December 3:
Union Square Winter Craft Market – On the Union Square Plaza and inside Precinct, 66 Union Sq
SLAM (Saturday Local Artist Market) – Burren, 247 Elm Street
Washington Street Art Center Craft Open House – 321 Washington Street

December 10:
The Snow Mall – Arts at the Armory, 191 Highland Avenue
Open Studios & Pottery Sale – Mudflat Gallery, 149 Broadway

A full list of events and participants can be found on the Shift Your Shopping home page on the Somerville Local First website.

Somerville Shift Your Shopping week is part of Somerville Local First’s Third Annual SHIFT YOUR SHOPPING campaign, now active across the country, which encourages residents to support locally owned and independent businesses and community based artisans with their holiday shopping dollars. New Englander’s will spend an average of $700 during the holidays this year. By choosing local, our communities have an opportunity to support the unique character of their communities and help create and sustain local jobs.

In addition, annual surveys over the last four years show that places that “go local” do better. For example, last year, the Institute for Local Self Reliance gathered data on annual revenue changes from nearly 2,800 independent business. That data revealed independent businesses in communities executing long-term “buy local and independent” campaigns averaged a healthy 5.6 percent increase over the previous year. This gain more than doubled the 2.1 percent increase reported by independent businesses in areas lacking such campaigns.

If you join us in shifting those dollars to locally owned, independent businesses, we’ll all generate 2-3 times as much economic activity in our community than if we had spent our money at a national chain.

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