In New Hampshire, we pride ourselves on our independent thinking, ingenuity, and self-reliance — qualities reflected in our entrepreneurial spirit. According to the Small Business Administration’s 2023 Small Business Profile, our state is home to 136,506 small businesses, comprising 98.9 percent of all New Hampshire businesses.
Our small businesses also provide the bulk of jobs across the state, employing 49.2 percent of all New Hampshire private-sector workers. Thank you for all you do, small business owners!
You play an essential role in supporting entrepreneurial success, whether you’re a small business owner, staff member, investor, or shopper. As many of us look to share gifts and meals with friends, family, and coworkers, we can also give a gift to our small business community. When making holiday purchases, Shop Indie Local and spend more of your budget at locally owned and independent businesses.
Purchasing gifts, meal ingredients, and gift-making supplies from locally owned and independent businesses impacts a community’s job growth, charitable giving, and land use patterns.
“Say you spend money at a local shoe store,” explains local economist and author Michael Shuman. “Its employees then go to the supermarket, which might buy from a local farmer. The more times and the faster a dollar passes between hands without leakage, the more income, wealth, and jobs in a community.”
Monadnock Region independent retailers sure do pass those dollars! They recirculate, on average, $62 of every $100 spent at their businesses back into our local economy. National chain stores return $14 of every $100 spent, while Amazon returns nearly zero.
Local, independent retail businesses help employ many more people than those on the sales floor. They’re more likely to bank with local banks and buy from other local businesses than chain stores. They’re also more likely to hire local service providers like accountants, graphic designers, and various skilled positions — jobs for aspiring entrepreneurs.
Local nonprofit organizations depend on contributions from local businesses. This support extends to civic institutions like schools, churches, and fraternal leagues that aid economic prosperity, community cohesion, and trust.
The rise of online shopping, undercutting Main Street retailers, also changes land use patterns. Amazon doesn’t place its warehouses downtown but in remote industrial parks. As demand for Main Street storefronts declines, so will local governments’ tax revenue base.
You don’t have to swear off shopping with online giants or chain stores altogether. However, we encourage you to look for ways to shift even one or two purchases to independent, community-based businesses this season.
Need some inspiration? Check out our online marketplace called The Local Crowd Mercantile at shop.tlcmonadnock.com. Discover gift ideas from 200 Monadnock Region businesses. Thanks to Monadnock Food Co-op and Saving Bank of Walpole for allowing us to offer our online marketplace at no cost to participating businesses this year.
Shop Indie Local Online
Also, consider the many makers, artists, and manufacturers who produce their products in New Hampshire. The Monadnock Region includes many small businesses represented in the Monadnock Arts Alive’s Creative Community database.
Also, don’t miss events like the Holiday Fair at Granite Mill in Harrisville on December 2 & 3, Holiday Shopping Night at the American House Keene Senior Living Community on December 4, Artisan Market at 17 ROX in Keene on December 9, and Last Minute Larry Holiday Arts Market on December 10 at Brewbakers Café. Discover more events at discovermonadnock.com.
So, give yourself — and your community — a gift this year by shifting more of your spending to our local merchants, service providers, artisans, and other locally owned and independent businesses. Happy Holidays!
The Local Crowd Monadnock - Mailing Address: 63 Emerald St. #114, Keene, NH 03431