Today, October 10, is National SHIFT10 Day, a day dedicated to building awareness of the positive impact of shifting 10 percent of our spending to local businesses. Here are 10 ideas to help you shop local in Denver in the coming months and why it matters…
I love quasi-holidays like National SHIFT10 Day because it gives me a chance to revel in being a total nerd about one of my favorite topics, supporting local businesses. Much like Small Business Saturday, SHIFT10 Day is a day dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of spending our money at our local businesses to continually invest in our own community. It’s not about spending more money, but rather shifting 10 percent of the spending you already do to a local, independent business.
Why does this matter? You’ve probably heard many of the reasons for spending locally before, like creating sense of community and building a stronger local economy. (Here’s a whole bunch of other reasons too.) And, those are definitely true. But, my take on this is probably a little more self-interested…I support my local businesses because I want to keep them in my life.
If you’ve been reading for a while, you’ve probably noticed that this blog is not only about life in Denver, but also about celebrating the local businesses that make Denver…well…Denver. What would Denver be if we didn’t have Tattered Cover Book Store or Little Man Ice Cream or Marczyk Fine Foods? Or, to get more specific, what would RiNo be without The Source? Or Park Hill without Spinelli’s Market and The Cherry Tomato? Or South Broadway without Decade or The Hornet? Our local businesses shape the character of our communities, and by extension, our lives.
Personally, if we didn’t have BookBar, Second Star to the Right, and so many other fantastic indie businesses just down the street from us on Tennyson, it would change my family’s daily lives. Because we go to these places not just for what they’re selling, but for the community they offer, too. And, there’s nothing that a mom home with a toddler needs more than community. (Although the half-off wine during BookBar’s Happiest Hour story time sure helps, too.)
So, I’m pretty passionate about shopping small and supporting our local businesses because I love what we get from them in return. I’ve even been working on launching a local nonprofit dedicated to raising awareness about supporting Colorado’s independent businesses. (More on that soon!)
But, I’m not naive. I’m a busy mom, too. And, I realize we’re all creatures of habit and sometimes it’s hard to just change from our default behavior. It can be much easier to run out to Target or order from Amazon if that’s what you’ve always done. But, just shifting your spending dollars a little bit can have such a huge impact. In fact, the 3/50 Project says if half the working population made $50 of regular purchases in a local business, it would generate more than $40 billion in revenue. (Okay, I’m not going to claim that I double-checked the math on that but still.)
Here in Denver we are so lucky to enjoy a quality of life that includes a vibrant restaurant scene, neighborhood bars tucked into all corners, fun little boutiques to browse, and places that will read to your kids (who were driving you absolutely crazy at home) while you enjoy a glass of wine. And, because I want to keep having access to all that, I realize I better put my money where my heart is.
Not sure exactly how to do that? Here are a few suggestions to help you get started…
2. Your holiday calendar’s probably packed with dinners and parties. Pick up a unique hostess (or housewarming) gift from one of these spots…
4. We’re all guilty of sending a birthday text, but isn’t a traditional card really so much nicer? You’ll find a fantastic, non-cheesy selection at one of these Denver card shops.
5. Does your home need a little sprucing up before you’re spending a lot more time indoors this winter? Skip the chain stores and check out our local home stores.
7. Got a big holiday shopping list? Our local stores have you covered. Hit these toy stores for the kiddos…
10. Plan to dance the night away on NYE? You might want to spring for a new pair of shoes at one of Denver’s best shoe stores.
Of course, that’s not all. Supporting local businesses isn’t limited to shopping at stores. Local restaurants, community banks, and area nonprofits could all use your patronage. Visit the Denver Dweller Shop Local Directory for more local businesses or check out the Shop Local archives to see some more of my favorite ways to shop local in Denver.