As we head into the holiday season, I thought it might be appropriate to talk about food, retail and supporting local businesses. We know that over the next six weeks the treats will amass at the office — from chocolate to cakes to gift baskets full of cheese and crackers and more. None of this is bad – in moderation – mind you, it is just that time of year. Where these treats and miscellaneous gifts are coming from is another matter. I learned about a new campaign to support local businesses that just so happens to kick off this week — Buy Local Week runs from Nov. 30 – Dec. 6 (www.coloradolocalfirst.com).
Last year Coloradans spent $12.7 billion during the holidays, which represents a huge portion of cash for retailers. Money spent at locally owned businesses recirculates at least three times more in our community, which means where you spend your money does matter. Check out Colorado Local First online directory, a project of the nonprofit business group The Mile High Business Alliance (http://www.milehighbiz.org). Use this directory to find locally-owned businesses near you and leave reviews for your favorite local businesses. The directory lists more than 400,000 Colorado-based businesses, but they’re still improving the data. You can help by submitting a new listing for a business you love. Or, if you own a
I also have to tout Downtown Boulder. Since I sit on the Downtown Boulder, Inc. board it would be a crime to not mention that 85 percent of more than 300 retail and service businesses are locally owned and operated. (http://www.boulderdowntown.com/) My favorite new find is the Savory Spice Shop with fresh seasonings, herbs and spice blends. Check out the Downtown Boulder gift guide filled with ideas that won’t break your bank.
When you are out and about and looking for a good meal be sure to check out these Colorado-based restaurants: Qdoba Mexican Grill, Marcos Pizza and Snooze.
This holiday season, I encourage you to shop and dine out locally. A shift of just 10 percent of your purchases toward local retailers translates into more people are getting a paycheck, paying their rent, and getting what they need from other local businesses.