Three-quarters of American consumers would prefer to purchase holiday gifts that are made in the United States, but a third say they rarely, or never, see American-made products while shopping, according to a new poll released today by the Alliance of American Manufacturing (AAM).
According to the survey, the major reasons shoppers want to buy American-made are:
• 72% say it can boost the U.S. economy.
• 58% say it creates American jobs.
• 57% say it supports small businesses.
According to an economic impact analysis by the American Independent Business Alliance, 48% of each purchase at local independent businesses was recirculated locally. For every dollar spent in the economy, an additional 48 cents of economic activity is generated locally.
Finding locally owned businesses
There are many business associations and chambers of commerce in our communities. I did several web searches for “locally owned businesses in (name of community)” and found several resources. The listings got me thinking outside of the traditional gifts. For the person who has “everything” and for those who could use a break – homemade gift certificates for babysitting, dog walking, house cleaning, car washing, date night out, home repairs and others are limited only by imagination.
Shop-and-stroll events are planned in communities (Old Town, Nob Hill, Downtown and more). Watch for advertising for the events, call a local shop to ask if there is an event planned, or a quick internet search will give you the dates and times.
Small Business Saturday was Nov. 26. If you missed it, not to worry; they still have great shopping experiences for you. Mark your calendar for Nov. 25, 2023.
Then, there are the very small businesses selling at holiday arts and crafts fairs. Sponsored by community churches, schools, universities and markets, they are great places to find unique handmade items. An internet search for arts and crafts shows in your community will provide an opportunity to shop every weekend for wonderful gifts.
The New Mexico Restaurant Association has an online directory you can search by community and type of food served: https://web.nmrestaurants.org/directory
When you buy jewelry, textiles, arts and crafts, food, wine, beer and other products with the New Mexico True Certified mark, you have the promise from the organization that they are made in New Mexico.
For more on the New Mexico True Certified Program, visit www.newmexico.org/new-mexico-true-certified/true-certified-shopping/
Etsy is an online marketplace where independent crafters, artists and collectors can sell vintage, handmade, or custom-made jewelry, clothing, home décor, art, toys and more. This link takes you to made in New Mexico for shopping: www.etsy.com/market/made_in_new_mexico
When an out-of-town friend or family member asks what they can get you, steer them to the local businesses for gift cards.
Do not overlook the opportunity to get just what you want from someone local who is selling. Craigs List, Offerup and NextDoor are sites easy to search. As you drive to and from work, or on errands, make a point of looking for the local business.
The gift of an experience
Consider a gift to a local attraction, plays, concerts, or events. Give a gift of an outing or adventure in the great outdoors of New Mexico. How about cooking classes, language, woodworking, photography, or any continuing education.
Toy drives, clothing drives, food drive, contributions to pay utilities, and nonprofits that do good work in our community fill a need this holiday season. If you know someone who could benefit from a program, contact the program to find out how to make a referral, or how the individual or family can register.
Don’t wait until the deadline. There are people, especially kids, waiting on the other end for the wonderful gift you have picked for them this year.
Enjoy shopping local.