The holidays are approaching and the giant foreign factories are working away at making tons of cheaply produced goods for Americans to give to each other. Wow, awesome right? Wrong....
Maybe it is time this year to change all that. Just maybe instead of purchasing those clothes made in Taiwan, the electronics made in Japan and the toys made in China, we start buying home grown gifts for everyone. (The stated countries to products may not be completely accurate but you get my point.) Why does a gift have to fit in a box, wrapped in wrapping paper and tied with a bow from who knows where?
This year, instead of going that route how about supporting our local businesses and business owners. Here are just a few of what I'm sure could be tons of suggestions on how to.
- How about buying a nice gift certificate at your locally owned spa or from your local hair stylist? Almost everyone has their hair cut or styled or would love a back massage. What more useful and deserving gift can you think of?
- Wouldn't anyone appreciate being able to take their car in and have it detailed. There are tons of local people and companies that do everything from the inside to the outside on cleaning, detailing and waxing. How about giving that gift?
- Or are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing by slapping down a ton of bucks on electronics designed outside of the USA? Just maybe this year you could give a gift of several months of lawn care, a membership to a local golf course or neighborhood tennis club, a years worth of coffee at a local coffee shop or even a gift certificate to have a driveway resurfaced. There are just so many other options.
Remember, this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open, not about supporting chain stores, restaurants and huge corporations. Those can survive just fine by shutting down a few of the way-too-many of them out there.
- Really, think about it. Don't you know someone that could use the gift of help with their company. For Example, you could always purchase coaching, training or virtual assistance hours for them.
- Or how about giving your wife or mother a break from the ritual house cleaning for a while. There are plenty of local cleaning people that would probably love more work. Add a carpet cleaning into that and just shine the house up for her!
- And let's talk computers. We all have at least one of them these days. And how many locallly owned computer fix-it companies are you aware of? Even if you computer doesn't break down and crash, it can always use a good cleaning out once or twice a year to speed it up and find that pesky hidden malware that has been lurking in it for months now.
- If you are looking for something more personal, there are tons of local jewelery artists and boutiques throughout the city that make very beautiful pieces. A gift that one of our own local artists have created; between all of the talented painters, photographers, poets and writers we have in our area, would be something that anyone would love and is just around the corner.
- If you have someone that loves music, give the gift of CD's from one of our local musicians. I'm sure you can find just the right type of music!
This Christmas and holiday season let's encourage American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams by giving their products and services. You can probably find many of them right here on Inside919. When we show we care about and support other Americans the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn't imagine.
What other ways can you think of to support our local economy for the holidays this year?