Regardless of your religious affiliation (or non affiliation), December in the United States means one thing: SHOPPING! Since the start of the recession, retail sales numbers have been our way of judging where the economy is headed. Were people lined up on Black Friday in retail stores around the U.S.? Did we break last year’s record? Every Monday news programs post updates on the amount of money that was spent over the previous week. Are we trending up compared to the following year or most importantly – where are we in compared to the beginning of the recession?
We are encouraged to spend money and support our local businesses but are we encouraging the right businesses? Several cities have gone beyond even the “Shop Small Business Saturdays” to support “Made in the USA” labels and products. CNBC (where the beautiful image above came from) wrote several pieces on this. They are putting Fort Wayne, Indiana on the map with their efforts to support their local businesses and to support products made in the United States. Sarah Wagner, a fellow blogger, says it best in the NBC article:
” “The holiday season is the ideal time to focus our shopping by seeking the ‘Made in USA’ label because when it comes to gifts, we have a lot of flexibility in our spending,” Wagner said. “At this time of year, more than ever, we want to feel like we are contributing to the things that matter to us. A well-chosen gift is always a treat, but if that gift supports our neighbors, our communities, or our country, it will be appreciated even more dearly,” she said.
Bottom line: More American-made goods sold equals U.S. jobs!”
I wholeheartedly agree with this statement but I don’t shop just in December, I shop year round at the local arts and crafts fairs, then save the gifts for the holidays. In this way I am not only supporting the. U.S. market but the local artist market which is often disregarded. This holiday season, think about how you can support “Home for the Holidays” by looking for the Made in the USA tags, supporting your local craft fairs or by supporting your business’ efforts to bring M