Our Think Local First program increases awareness about the personal, community and economic benefits of choosing local, independently owned businesses first. We’re able to take job creation and economic concerns into our own hands by exercising our power to strengthen our own local economies. Think Local First and Make Your Purchases Count! Let’s give our economy a much-needed boost! Learn what Is “Local and Independent” and why it matters. Directing more money locally builds strong communities At Seacoast Local we believe there are two things every resident can do to strengthen our community. One is to volunteer with a non-profit organization they believe in. The other is to spend their money, as great a percentage as possible, at locally owned, independent businesses. What’s Independent? I am! You are! We are free to make our own choices, and we want to support businesses that have complete control over their own business. An independent business is one that is free to choose local contractors, local accountants, locally made goods, and to sport a logo and brand that is unique to them and not one that is repeated endlessly across the country or across the globe. What’s Local? For our purposes, we define a business as locally owned if at least 50 percent of its owners live within 25 miles of Portsmouth Harbor. This encompasses 25 towns that share a natural watershed, agricultural region, and commuter-shed, from Barrington to York, from Seabrook to South Berwick. It’s a large enough area to build a movement and make an impact, and yet a close enough community that it depends on a network of relationships. In fact, it’s these relationships that make it work. Why is ownership important? Isn’t it enough just to support businesses located in town? Yes and no. Given a choice between ordering from a far away Internet company and patronizing a business located in town, we’d recommend the latter. Given a choice between going to a big box store and patronizing a locally owned business, choosing the locally owned business generates more economic activity here. It’s your choice: This movement is about opportunity. Every dollar spent at a local independent generates up to 2-3 times as much economic activity locally than if that dollar were spent at a national chain. A 10% Shift per household this year would create hundreds of new jobs and millions in new economic activity on the Seacoast. Across New England, we could generate more than $5 billion in increased economic activity, decrease thousands of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and revitalize local communities. Learn more at seacoastlocal.org. Discover local businesses Use our Seacoast Local’s Guide to learn more about great local independents in our community and the goods, services and clever ideas they have in store for you. This guide is a fantastic resource to help you take part in your local living economy. Get to know our Seacoast business members, connect with our effective programs, and get involved! Our business owners are also your neighbors and they are here to provide you with every category of service and product. They live their work, and it shows in their deep knowledge and outstanding customer service. Flip through this guide to find new ways to shift your shopping and direct more of your money to our local economy. The Guide is carried by Seacoast Local members and is also distributed across the Seacoast by The Wire newspaper. It’s also available online at seacoastlocal.org. Browse by category or peruse our full business listings. It’s easily arranged to bring address, hours, website, and phone number quickly to hand for all of our member businesses, non-profits and cultural organizations. Then, Shift Your Shopping! What is the 10% Shift? If the five million households in New England shifted 10% more of their existing purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents (locally owned and independent businesses), we would see thousands of new jobs created and billions of dollars of new economic activity in New England, all without raising taxes or spending a dime more than we planned. The 10% Shift is a coordinated call to action led by local-first organizations, like Seacoast Local, all across New England, and it has the power to stabilize and transform our economy, today, with just a few small changes from each of us. How can you help make this a success? Start with the 10% Shift pledge. Talk About It • Talk to everyone about the 10% Shift and encourage people to Shift Your Shopping during the holidays and year-round • Post our Shift Your Shopping poster in your place of business or your neighborhood, and help build community pride (we’ll email you a poster). • Forward our announcements to your email lists and include the news about our local economy in your newsletter • Join us on social media so we can stay connected with each others’ best ideas. We make it fun with campaigns to encourage new shopping habits. “Celebrate Your Local Independents” around July 4; proudly wear your local colors on Plaid Friday, the independent alternative to Black Friday; and make the 10% Shift all year round. Learn More With Us We are happy to speak anytime at your meeting or event. We also bring people together to learn more with ourMaking the Connection speaker series and our business workshops. To learn more ourselves and help build this movement, we are partners with like-minded business organizations in the New England Local Business Forum, at www.nelbf.org. We’re also members of BALLE, the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies, who have been helping to lead this transformation nationally for a decade. Give Back Our communities depend on charitable donations from local independents to help raise money for everything from cancer recovery programs to Little League to arts and culture. This is part of the social contract—we patronize local businesses, they provide quality goods and service at the correct price. Along the way, we expect them to share time and talent with our community, and they do. The Seacoast Local (H)EAT campaign highlights this relationship. Local businesses and their loyal customers lead the annual raise funds for food and fuel assistance every winter—our aim is to raise enough for 10,000 meals and 10,000 gallons—while we all work together to build long-term solutions. Learn more at www.heat-eat.org.