For every $100 you spend at a local business, about $68 stays here in our community

This editorial is the opinion of Morgan Hill Life

This year’s holiday season will certainly be far different than in previous times when the world did not have to face the threat to public health from a pandemic. State and local government mandates will prevent us from doing the usual socializing with friends and co-workers and the family get-together festivities. That sad fact will hit our local merchants and restaurants hard. In the spirit of generosity, we encourage the people of the South Valley to show their support of their community and shop local for their holiday foods and gifts.

Let’s make it a tradition to celebrate the holidays by getting more for less by shopping local. Morgan Hill and the South Valley region provide plenty of opportunities to find locally-made gifts that will bring joy to the recipients while also being environmentally green and saving the green in your wallet.

There are many uniquely local shops in Morgan Hill we can recommend visiting. BookSmart in the Nob Hill shopping center is a friendly store that contains a wide selection books — or co-owners Brad and Cinda can order whatever might be on your list. Thinker Toys provides a fine array of hard-to-find games and toys that kids will love getting.

Downtown Morgan Hill offers a selection of locally-owned boutique shops that sell clothes and other items. Consider local consumables in your gift-giving endeavors. Our wineries offer award-winning bottles of vino. For people who have plenty of material stuff in their lives, consider giving them the gift of a great dinner made by a local chef. Many of our best restaurants offer gift cards or gift certificates.

Shopping local also adds to the quality of life for everyone in our community through the sales tax that often is never incorporated into purchases on website retailers such as Amazon. We know that it is nearly impossible to stop online shopping completely. But if we just curbed our online shopping behavior, it would benefit our South Valley community. If every Morgan Hill resident increased their spending at a Morgan Hill business by 1 percent, it would result in nearly $48,000 in local tax revenue and support about 60 jobs. If every Morgan Hill resident increased their spending at a Morgan Hill business by 5 percent, it would result in nearly $240,000 in local tax revenue and support 304 jobs.

We are strong believers in supporting local retailers and service providers by shopping during the holidays with them. Buying local goods as gifts is a present you can give your community. Consider that for every $100 you spend at a local business, about $68 stays here in our community by supporting local jobs and reinvesting in our infrastructure through local taxes.

Studies have shown that consumers who purchase gifts from a locally-owned independent business instead of a nationally-owned company help strengthen the economic base of a community. Buying local during the holidays also helps keep Morgan Hill unique. When you support one-of-a-kind businesses (and not the stores that are cookie-cutter copies of other stores throughout the nation), you are enhancing the quality of life by preserving the distinctive character of the place we call home.

Shopping local also reduces our American consumer impact on the environment. It requires less transportation energy to shop local. Getting into the habit of shopping local also helps create more jobs. Small local businesses — and not corporations — are the largest employees across America. Supporting them with your dollars helps provide people with employment. This encourages local prosperity.

In the spirit of the season, consider giving a donation of financial support to a local nonprofit organization in the name of a loved one. Many of these nonprofits are struggling because the COVID-19 crisis has prevented them from doing their traditional fundraising activities. There are many excellent organizations that truly need your support in keeping their mission going. Perhaps you can ask the special people in your life what causes they might support in the South Valley region, and then send a donation to that organization, whether it be a group that protects the environment, enhances local education, or helps humanity with a social services mission.

The most important thing to consider when shopping local during the holidays is to focus on the spirit of the season and don’t get caught up in the rush. And the stuff you purchase will not make you and your loved ones any happier. It’s sharing the joy of the season with your family and friends that will really create the fond memories that will last a lifetime.

Happy holidays, to one and all!

Morgan Hill Life Editorial
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