This economy has awakened us to just how vulnerable our local small businesses are.
Unlike the huge, highly leveraged companies in the news, most small retailers are careful not to go in over their heads. But they count on a steady stream of customers all year long. If people don’t make a conscious choice to think first of their favorite stores every time they need to make a purchase — not just at the holidays — they will suffer, especially when so many people are scaling back on their spending.
Which is why an independent group of New England businesses started the 10 Percent Shift — Build Local Economies by Purchasing With Purpose (www.10percentshift.org). If the five million households in New England shifted 10 percent of their existing purchases from non-local businesses to local independents, we would see billions of dollars of new economic activity in New England! And all this wouldn’t cost one taxpayer dollar.
We chose to open our store in Groton, rather than somewhere else, because we saw a retail void on our own Main Street. We sell jewelry, gifts and handcrafts made by local people from the surrounding communities.
Our hope — and we’re sure most people feel the same way — is to see more businesses like this, not empty storefronts. But that depends on you.
We encourage you to visit the Web site and make your pledge — and to use your shopping dollars to support independent local businesses whenever you can.
IAN & BARBARA SCOFIDIO
noa jewelry, fine handcrafts & gifts