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Column: Shop Local, Shop Roswell
by Beckie Hawkins
November 30, 2012 10:48 AM | 2758 views | 0 0 comments | 20 20 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Beckie Hawkins
Beckie Hawkins
This holiday season, challenge your friends, family and yourself to help preserve the unique character Roswell has to offer and help our community, the place we live, work and play, prosper by showing your support to our local businesses. As local consumers in the community, our choices have an impact on our economic health, the environment and the variety of our retail areas.

As we strive to sustain and grow a city in which businesses can create jobs and operate successfully, remember that more locally owned businesses lead to more choices, more diversity and a truly distinctive community. Along with keeping money in the community and local job creation, shopping locally helps fuel entrepreneurship, which inspires and ensures our community remains unique.

Anton Kotze, owner of the stylish boutique The Bilt-house on Canton Street, believes “the most important reason for shopping locally is to protect the local character and prosperity of our community.

“By choosing to support locally owned businesses, you help maintain our diversity and distinctive flavor. Job creation is a close second. I am a strong believer that healthy local businesses will lead us to quality, new jobs with benefits that often exceed those of bigger chain stores.”

Shopping locally can include purchasing gift cards from a favorite spa, restaurant or local attraction. Many local businesses are showing their support for small-business shopping by highlighting local artists and crafters at special events, including Teal Gallery & Events on Oak Street. The gallery will host a “Holiday Pop-Up Gift Gallery” Dec. 7. Vendors will offer original artisan and designer made gifts.

The Chattahoochee Nature Center will also offer a place to come and shop for locally made gifts. The vendors at the Back to Nature Holiday Market and Festival Saturday are all from metro-Atlanta, with about 80 percent being from less than 10 miles away. Rebecca Gilbert, the nature center’s community programs senior director, said, “The Holiday Market is our opportunity to give something back to the community by offering free admission to the Chattahoochee Nature Center. By bringing in artisans selling their hand crafted goods, we feel we are providing a venue where residents can support their neighbors and have their purchases go directly back to their local economy. This not only provides revenue for these small businesses, but it increases their awareness to new customers.”

Another great tool to help shop local this holiday season is the new Find It All Roswell smartphone app provided by the Roswell Business Alliance. “With over $17,000 spent annually in Roswell per capita on retail goods and services, we want to ensure our small businesses have access to the resources they need to thrive — one of those resources is the new app, created by Target Radius,” said Steve Stroud, RBA Executive Director. “By offering these businesses the opportunity to connect to their customers on the go, we hope to keep most of the retail spending in our community.”

Where we eat, shop and invest makes our community home. Roswell’s small businesses are a central part of the distinctive character of our home.

With the holiday season upon us, shopping locally is a great idea to help keep Roswell’s favorite shops in business.

Beckie Hawkins is the communications manager for the Roswell Business Alliance.

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