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Why is it so important to shop locally?

Shopping locally helps create the identity of your community. A town filled with unique and vibrant shops will create a more appealing aesthetic that is not only great for the locals but for tourists, too. Small businesses are known to play a significant role in supporting local community charities and causes. It is clear that local businesses benefit from a strong community; therefore the owners tend to be more engaged members of the community themselves.

Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to local nonprofits and community causes, creating a positive cycle of giving back locally. You will also find unique gifts that cannot be found elsewhere. Ola Chica is one of Santa Cruz’s original female owned surf companies and supports local nonprofits, hosts events and sponsors local athletes.

· Keep money local: By shopping locally, you are directly contributing to your local community. Your money is going straight into your village, town, suburb or city, helping it thrive.

· Conserve your tax dollars: Shopping locally means less infrastructure, less maintenance and more money available to beautify your community. Also spending locally instead of online ensures that your sales taxes are reinvested where they belong - in your community!

· Better for the environment: buying locally reduces your carbon footprint. Conserve energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation (less pollution and congestion) and less packing.

Locally owned businesses generally make more local purchases, requiring less transportation. They also tend to set up shop in town or city centers, meaning there’s generally less sprawl, congestion and habitat loss.

· Creates more local jobs: By supporting local businesses, you are in turn, helping your local economy by creating more jobs. Even a small business needs enough hands to help it sell products and services, which is why the more we support them, the more jobs will be created, and the better off our local community will be.

· More choices: Locally owned businesses pick the items and products they sell based on what they know you like and want. Local businesses carry a wid­er array of unique products because they buy for their own individual markets.

· It’s more personal: Another great thing about independent businesses is that people, not boards or stockholders run them. Quite often, these people will have interesting stories as to how their stores came to be and about the area you’re living in. A chain cannot match this personal touch.

· Buying locally puts double the money into your community than occurs when you make a purchase at a chain store.

Some of my favorite local businesses below:

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