As many tighten their belts and commit to spending fewer dollars this holiday season, we urge individuals to give more as 2020 draws to a close. Why this message in a time of scarcity and uncertainty? Because everyone can give more by purchasing more of their holiday gifts and celebration needs from our neighbors and friends — locally owned business owners.

We’re not asking people to spend more, but to make sure that the dollars they do spend give more to our community. Eighty business alliances, chambers, and associations throughout the nation have come together to promote this movement, called Shop Indie Local: https://tlcmonadnock.com/shopindielocal.

Why Shop Indie Local?

When you spend your dollars at locally owned retail businesses, more money returns to our local economy than if you spend that same dollar at a chain store. According to Civic Economics (www.civiceconomics.com/indie-impact.html), when you spend a dollar at an independent business, about 47 cents returns to our local economy. (Spend it at a chain store and only 14 cents returns; spend it at an online giant and only pennies return.) That 47 cents recirculates through our local economy, generating ripple effects that strengthen jobs, charitable contributions, and community prosperity.

Think about the people you love. Instead of stuff, what do you truly want to give them? Perhaps it’s more hope, inspiration, or connection. Now, consider each person, place, and thing that plays a part in growing, making, and getting that gift to your loved one. When you Shop Indie Local, you give more to everyone.

For example, I want to give more hope to a dear friend. I find a one-of-a-kind handmade lamp, one that I know will make my friend’s day a bit brighter. The artist who created the unique piece — closed out from their regular holiday events — feels a bit more hope that they’ll make it through 2020. My friend feels more hope every time she clicks the lamp’s switch on.

What do you want to give more of this year? Shop Indie Local.

JENNIFER RISLEY

29 Page St.

Keene