Buy locally, support yourself

  • Thursday, November 20, 2014 4:01pm
  • Opinion

As Alaskans prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and the inevitable onslaught of a post-holiday shopping frenzy, it’s time think about what’s being bought and how the local economy can benefit from the national Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping trends.

We know that it can be enticing to spend money on the deeply discounted products offered by in out-of-town stores and online retailers, but given the choice between the purchase of a gift that would ultimately benefit the economy somewhere else and one that would keep a local business owner in business — we encourage shoppers to spend their money in our community.

Your friends and neighbors depend on you to keep them in business. By the same token, your own wallet is affected by the number of businesses paying property and sales taxes, and your quality of life benefits from the services that the borough can offer based on that revenue.

According to the BuyAlaska program, an effort by the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Alaska Small Business Development Center to encourage Alaskans to spend their money in-state, if Alaskans shifted 10 percent of the purchases they made Outside, the state’s economy would be bolstered by more than $1 billion and about 4,400 jobs would be created.

It’s clear that having thriving local businesses creates a stronger Alaska economy and when it comes to holiday shopping, the money spent with those businesses will continue to circulate through the local economy, benefitting not just other businesses, but also the many organizations and charities our local businesses support. Your friends and neighbors have a vested interest in investing in the community and its future.

Aside from the obvious benefits of contributing to the state’s economy, there are thousands of artists and small-business owners in Alaska who are creating one-of-a-kind objects that can only be found in this state.

Rather than spending money on generic gifts that can be found at any department store, why not spend a bit more to buy a handmade hat from a producer in Cooper Landing or a scarf from a Soldotna shop-owner? The businesses opened on the Kenai Peninsula keep our communities unique and provide options for one-of-a-kind gifts.

In addition, buying locally reduces the environmental impact of each purchase and generally means that you’ll be contributing less to a global supply chain that can decimate smaller producers.

While you’re out doing your holiday shopping, we encourage you to find ways to support the local economy and encourage your families to do the same.

We’re all responsible for keeping this community healthy and growing. Making sure local businesses can survive is one way to ensure that we’ll continue to prosper.

More in Opinion

The official ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Division of Elections)
Voices of the Peninsula: Check out the ballot before you vote

This kind of ballot is not something you have seen before.

Former Gov. Bill Walker, right, and his running mate former commissioner of the Department of Labor and Workforce Development Heidi Drygas, speak to Juneauites gathered for a fundraiser at a private home in Juneau on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Why I’m voting for Walker

Walker is the only candidate with the potential to govern effectively for all Alaskans.

Nick Begich III campaign materials sit on tables ahead of a May 16 GOP debate held in Juneau. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: Nick Begich is who Alaska and America need now

It is in Alaska’s best interest to elect a member of the Republican party

State Sen. Josh Revak (Photo provided)
The time has come to end Big Tech’s rule

The hope is that the bipartisan American Innovation and Choice Online Act (S. 2992) will come to the Senate floor for a vote

Michael Heimbuch attends a memorial service for the late Drew Scalzi on Aug. 5, 2005, at the Seafarers Memorial on the Homer Spit in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Point of View: King salmon: The clash of culture and science

People do some pretty awful things to king salmon stocks

Lieutenant governor candidate Edie Grunwald speaks at a Charlie Pierce campaign event at Paradisos restaurant in Kenai on Saturday, March 5, 2022. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Election Integrity: An Alaskan question with an Alaskan answer

A needless round of feel-good meetings and what-if conversations will be a thing of the past

This photo shows the University of Alaska Southeast campus in Juneau. (Jonson Kuhn / Juneau Empire File)
Opinion: I’m a longtime educator, and I’m supporting Walker/Drygas

The issues our state faces are significant with regard to education.

Larry Persily (Peninsula Clarion file)
Opinion: Congress could keep health insurance costs from rising, but it has to act fast

The cost of health insurance will rise substantially next year for about 13 million Americans

The offical ballot for the Aug. 16, 2022, Special General Election features ranked choice voting. (State of Alaska Divison of Elections)
Opinion: Alaskans deserve an election system that represents our differences

The new system’s goal is to make this election cycle transparent, secure and easy for all Alaskans to vote

UAA Chancellor Sean Parnell (Courtesy)
Opinion: UAA’s career certificates are helping to fill Alaska’s workforce pipeline

At UAA, we are announcing a new suite of certificate programs responding to some of the state’s most critical needs

Opinion: Remaining vigilant after 30 years

Exxon Valdez spurred both federal and state legislatures, the industry, and the public to come together