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Celebrate more than Independence Day, celebrate Independents Week!

July 1, 2010

Contributed by Office of Sustainability, Columbia MO.

This summer, the first week of July has been declared Independents Week by the City of Columbia and the State of Missouri, in support of locally owned, independent businesses in the region. Columbia Locally Owned Retail and Services (COLORS) is hosting Independents Week to challenge Columbians to shop exclusively locally for the week of July1st-7th in order to promote buying local and using your dollars to help your community.

Why buy local? When you buy local you are keeping YOUR dollars in YOUR community. According to COLORS’ executive director, Johanna Cox-Littrell, every dollar spent locally multiplies 3 to 5 times its original value by circulating through many hands in the community. Local businesses use local producers, pay wages to their workers who spend their money again in our community. Instead of sending your money to a corporate headquarters, keep it in your community where it benefits your community.

Buying local also helps to support the businesses that are providing unique goods and services for the community. Each local store is unique, which gives our community more choices when spending money. Buying local gives YOU a say in what goods and services are offered in our community. Businesses run by local people in our community know what our community wants and needs. COLORS’ advertises that “local business owners care about your satisfaction and value your opinion.” When you shop local, you have more power to help influence the future of your community.

Buying local is not just good for you and your community; it is also good for the environment. Big corporate companies literally transport their products from around the world, which requires a enormous amount of packaging and transportation pollution. When you buy local, a semi-truck is not necessary to get the product to you, it is instead produced and then sold in the same region.

City of Columbia Sustainability Manager, Barbara Buffaloe, has stepped up to take the Indie Challenge, and will be shopping exclusively locally this week. Join her in celebrating Independents Week to support your locally owned, independent businesses throughout your community.

A directory of independently owned businesses can be found on the COLORS website at www.colorsalliance.org.

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