Keep Your Money Where Your Home Is

Celebrate your local “Independents”

By Kathryn M. Miller – As our nation celebrates declaring its independence this month, there is another quieter movement towards independence taking place. It is a national campaign with grass-roots development; and it is gaining momentum. Independents Week takes place July 1-7, facilitated nationally by the American Independent Business Alliance, and is a celebration of the spirit of entrepreneurism and individuality, and an occasion to recognize the local contributions of independent business’ time, talent, goods and services.

It also helps raises the community’s collective awareness and encourages them to think outside the “Big Box.” Studies have shown that for every $100 spent in a locally owned business roughly $42 remains right here in Arizona, while for the same $100 spent in a national chain store only $13 remains here. By shifting even a small percentage of purchases to locally owned businesses, money is circulated back into the economy over and over, which will help build a healthier local economy.

Locally, the effort is spearheaded by Local First Arizona, helmed by Director Kimber Lanning, and supported by the organizations more than 1,300 members. The weeklong celebration features a special “Golden Coupon” available on the Local First website, which is good for a 20 percent discount at participating businesses. Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton gives his full support to the effort.

“Small businesses are the economic engine that drives job growth and economic development,” says Stanton. “It is a ‘no brainer’ that we must do more, like supporting Independents Week to support Phoenix’s existing small businesses and foster the development and growth of new ones.”

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