The remains of yesterday’s feast are stored in the refrigerator, and I’ve reviewed some bookmarked recipes for repurposing some of those leftovers. Next up on the “to do” list is some housekeeping, followed by pulling out the Christmas decorations. Later, I’ll visit the Rembrandt exhibit at NCMA. Today’s agenda does not include any Black Friday related events. Maybe the few years I worked in retail has made me adverse to crowded shopping aisles, long lines at the check out, and cautiously circling mall parking lots trying to make a collision-free exit.
My localista sensibilities make it more appealing to seek out the less frequented, independent shops of our communities, where often I find an unexpected delight I might not find elsewhere. I value the character of the smaller, locally owned retailers, and I choose to shop them for purely selfish reasons. I want them to stay in business, to prosper, so I can keep shopping there. I find it a more enriching experience to browse the shelves of an indie bookseller, than wandering the endless aisles of BigBoxMart. When I travel, I make a point of seeking out the locals that reflect the uniqueness of the destination. Often, I find more pleasing fare at the local cafe or bistro, than I do at any “fast food” or national chain restaurant. When friends and family come to visit the Triangle, I take them to one of my favorite local “flavors”, a restaurant they can’t experience back home, only here. Our communities are filled with wonderful characters, and those diverse options make the Triangle a special place to live.
While I don’t limit my small biz shopping trips to the last month of the year, this is high shopping season where retailers, large and small and virtual, vie for our dollars. You may be aware of a couple of campaigns, both local and national, focusing on Small Business Saturday, November 26, 2011, incentivizing shoppers like us not to forget about the brick and mortar small businesses in our communities this time of year. Organizations like BALLE and Shift Your Shopping provide consumers and business owners with some economic statistics about the impact of purchases from locally owned businesses. The 3/50 Project purports the importance of consumer spending in our economy and sets a modest goal to make a larger local impact. The information from those organizations may make a compelling argument for spending at least some of one’s budget in a locally owned, independent business.
But, as I stated, I shop local independents for the sheer self-interest factor. I can’t imagine living in a community with nothing but “beige”, a monotone of mall merchandise. Give me options that are vibrant, singular, that reflect the uncommon character of the locale I love. That’s what I want for Christmas, the unusual suspects. Need to find the unusual in your community? The below local organizations can point you in the direction of some local businesses you might love too.
Shop participating Downtown Fuquay-Varina businesses Nov. 18th – Dec. 17th during the “Cash for Christmas” promotion and enter a drawing for a $500 gift certificate. Like the Facebook page and/or follow on Twitter.
When visiting downtown Chapel Hill, be sure stop in the Carolina Inn to view the Gingerbread Village display, beginning Dec. 3rd. Parade day is Dec. 10th. Like the Chapel Hill Downtown Partnership on Facebook and/or follow on Twitter.
Downtown Hillsborough’s dining scene offers excellent options. Make it a point to try a local restaurant when you visit Hillsborough for the Holiday Parade on Dec. 3rd and/or the 25th Annual Candlelight Home Tour on Dec. 4th. Like Historic Hillsborough’s Facebook page to stay in the local Hillsborough know.
Downtown Wake Forest invites you to a “Cash Mob” on Nov. 26th, the first ever in all NC (we think)! Bring $20 and shop any one (or more) of the downtown businesses on S. White Street, where next year you’ll find the new Triangle brewery, White Street Brewing Co. Like Wake Forest Downtown on Facebook.