‘Shop Local’ campaigns popular again this holiday season

With the holidays coming up, I am realizing there is so much to be thankful for. I am thankful specifically for New Orleans, and our entrepreneurial community, spirit, and resources.  I am also thankful that because of these great entrepreneurs and business owners, I can avoid doing all of my shopping at the mall.

There are many reasons to shop at local small businesses in lieu of the national chains, and New Orleans business owners and retailers are advocating its importance for our city.  This year, they are coming together to create an awareness campaign to educate holiday shoppers about the value of supporting locally owned businesses.

Not only is it fun to stroll the streets of New Orleans during the unexpectedly warm weather this year, but you can make a significant economic impact by supporting local businesses and community.  By shopping at smaller retailers, you are contributing to the vitality of thebusiness community and local quality of life, as well as becoming a driving force in the city’s prospering economy. And, as an added bonus, you can avoid the lines and the chaos at crowded malls.

The financial health of the city is dependent on the business community as a whole.  Our growing industries, low unemployment rate, and continued economic development can be traced to the entrepreneurs and small business owners in New Orleans.  Each dollar spent at a locally owned business keeps circulating through the community, and has a more significant impact on our own city than the dollars spent at a national retailer.  This consistent stimulation keeps businesses in operation, creates and retains jobs, and funds more city services and improvements through sales tax.

Supporting small business owners also helps families move into the middle and upper classes, and out of low wage jobs, further promoting and sustaining quality of life.  As more businesses succeed, entrepreneurs will continue to compete and create more innovative solutions in the long term, ensuring a larger market place and lower prices in the future.

New Orleans also has its own charm and flavor that can’t be found anywhere else. By giving a gift that is distinct to New Orleans, you are not only ensuring that your loved one will be receiving something thaunique, but also protecting the city’s local character, supporting local causes, and building the community.

So, this holiday season, consider giving gifts that are unique and give back to the city you love by supporting local businesses.  Below, I have compiled a list of gift suggestions that will keep you off the interstate and in your loved one’s good grace, while supporting our local economy.

Gifts for your colleagues:  We all know that no one at the office can fully function without that first round of coffee, so keep them happy and productive with the gift that keeps on giving.  Gift cards and baskets from PJ’s Coffee or Sucre will ensure that colleagues are fully fueled for the day ahead, with coffee from some of the city’s best.

Gifts for the ladies: No girl can resist clothes, so support boutiques and locally manufactured apparel this year.  Jolie and Elizabeth designs clothing that is classic for the Southern belle, and also manufactured locally, supporting more jobs and industries in New Orleans.  Local clothing boutiques also offer great fashions, prices, service, and support the industry as well.  Abeille NOLA on Oak Street promises all those things and is popular among girls of all ages.

Gifts for the guys: Whether it’s your boyfriend or your dad, give the man in your life accessories, skin care or the ultimate shaving experience from Aiden Gill.  Perlis and Vernon are men’s stores that offer great clothing and people who will help you find the perfect suit that will never go out of style.

Gifts for your exiled friends and family: Based in New Orleans, NOLAcajun.com is a premier e-commerce site that provides both New Orleans and Cajun fare, and can be shipped worldwide.  The perfect gift for anyone living outside of New Orleans is a little piece from home.

Gifts for the couples: New Orleans-based Friend and Company designs and manufactures fine jewelry.  With a selection of pieces for men and women, you can give your loved one a special piece from one of the collections or design a custom piece as well.

Local music and art also make great personal gifts for anyone on your list and supports an industry of creatives in New Orleans that continue to make the city unique.

Click here for the Facebook Shop Small page, which will give you a list of local businesses.

CLick here for Buy Local Buy NOLA.

To become involved in this campaign, or if you are a business owner interested in more information or collateral for your social media pages, please email Adriana@gennola.org or leave a comment below.

Adriana Lopez writes about the entrepreneurial community for NolaVie and Silicon Bayou News. She also showcases local start-ups such as the one profiled here through her non-profit organization GenNOLA. For more information on NolaVie, visit NolaVie.com.