The holiday season is upon us, and with it comes the annual quest to find the perfect gifts for family, friends, colleagues and even our beloved pets.
This year, as we slowly begin to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, I urge Cape Cod residents to patronize the region’s abundance of unique small retailers, locally owned restaurants and other independent businesses. It is also important to support our many local BIPOC-owned businesses this holiday season, a comprehensive listing of which has been compiled by Amplify POC Cape Cod and can be found at www.amplifypoccapecod.com/#list
Many of our local merchants struggled to keep their doors open over the last 18 months when emergency restrictions were in effect and they still desperately need our support to stay afloat as they grapple with workforce, supply chain and inflation issues. Money spent with local small businesses this holiday season, unlike national big box stores and global online retailers, primarily stays in our communities to power the regional economy, create jobs and support families here on the Cape.
According to Love Live Local, a Hyannis-based organization dedicated to community advocacy and educating consumers on the importance of shopping local, small businesses with 1 to19 employees represent 90% of Cape Cod’s economy and keep 2 to 4 times as much money in the local economy as their national chain competitors. The organization’s research also shows that if just 10% of spending shifted to local retailers, an additional $112 million would be funneled into the Cape Cod economy annually.
Locally produced and sourced products are also more likely to be featured at Cape small businesses providing a boost to makers and artisans in the community. Further, small independent businesses tend to participate in community events and volunteer or make contributions to nearby charitable nonprofit organizations. Shopping local truly represents an economic domino effect that benefits so many of our neighbors right here on Cape Cod.
It is important to note that shoppers do not have to sacrifice convenience while frequenting local merchants, as many small businesses offer online ordering and shipping. Purchasing gift certificates is also a wonderful way to support local businesses.
During this holiday season, the Cape’s quaint villages and Main Streets from Woods Hole to Provincetown are decked out in their holiday finery. I hope you have the opportunity to shop and dine across our peninsula in the coming weeks.
Shopping locally is just another way we can continue to help and support each other throughout this holiday season — it is a gift for all of us.
Lisa Oliver is Chair, President and CEO of The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod
This article originally appeared on Cape Cod Times: Support Cape Cod's small businesses this holiday, Christmas season