Holiday shopping that saves the community / by Kerri McGill

One of the coolest organizations I work with is Somerville Local First. Their mission is to create a financially stable, self sufficient community by strengthening support for the local business owners.

The 10% Shift idea states that if everyone in a community shifts their spending habits a little, employment, wages, and local output will increase by thousands without a cent of tax relief help. The statistics seem unbelievable!(but they're published in Business Week.) It is not about spending more, but buyng everday purchases at locally owned shops instead of huge corporate shops...and no everything- just 10%.

I know my weak spot is Home Depot. I have also scouted out a small hardware store near a locally owned coffee shop I love - Perfect! That's all we have to do - find those small businesses, adjust our habits, and keep our money in the neighborhood instead of tossing it all into giant faceless heartless corporations.

If you have questions, 10percentshift.org, or visit Joe(and some of my paintings) at the SLF's "pop-up" gallery space/office, the Prospect Gallery in Union Square, between the post office and the Independent Pub. Please come celebrate the gallery's show closing at the end of December, the 30th, 6-9.

This is especially important this time of the year. Your gift shopping can make or break a business. Lets keep our money where we can see it...in our towns and our independent businesses.