“Tis the season to ‘Buy Local’…”

When you hear the terms ‘Black Friday’, ‘Small Business Saturday’, ‘Cyber Monday’ and ‘Giving Tuesday’, you know what time of year it is- it’s Christmas time! (But, questions remain… Where’d Sunday go? What’s Sunday’s nick name?) As you all are going out to buy those perfect holiday gifts for your loved ones, I have just one question for you…

Are you buying local?

If you are, I’d like to shake your hand and say ‘Thank You’! Communities all over the country are benefitting from your choice of buying goods and services from locally owned businesses. If you’re not, please take a moment to review just three of the many reasons why it’s important to shop locally:

  1. Economic Sustainability By supporting locally owned businesses, you are supporting families within your community who in turn pay their profit forward; continuing that cycle of economic growth and sustainability.
  2. Business Friendly By shopping locally and strengthening your community’s economy, you are becoming a more attractive market for entrepreneurs and small businesses to bring their innovative ideas and services.
  3. Job Creation With the varying degrees of economic recovery across the nation, by buying local, you are helping businesses grow and create jobs.

What’s not to like about buying locally? These reasons and benefits for buying local aren’t just for the holiday season. Yes, it is great during the Christmas season- with the increased purchasing by consumers- but buying local is good for everyone, all year around. And, it’s a good thing most locally owned and operated businesses run all year around, too…

“Tis the season for furnace breakdowns…”

As I’m writing this, the United States is in the middle of a cold snap. This past week, I became even more acquainted with my house as I dove underneath it with a hair dryer to thaw a pipe. Not even five hours later, my wall unit for my furnace went out… Who did I call? Well, in this case I called my brother, but that’s because he works for a locally owned and operated HVAC company. 

Local businesses are all around us and are there when we need them- my furnace issue, case-in-point. Businesses are made up of neighbors, friends, relatives, and loved ones; they are the faces we become familiar with and the names we trust in times of need. When you frequent these locally owned businesses throughout the year, you are helping bring those three benefits of economic stability, business friendly environment, and job creation to your community.

“Eight Days a Week…”

Whether you are trying a new shop for the first time, or going to a trusty ‘ole favorite, buying local develops relationships with those in the community. If you are working to find that perfect holiday gift, or desperately trying to get a wall unit fixed for a furnace, there are local shops all over who are willing, eager and ready to serve you not just once, but time and time again. 

So, scrap the fancy names designated for the most extravagant shopping days of the year, Buying Local should happen ‘eight days a week’. Get it? Sweet. And, with the newly released Maps Buy Local App, shopping ‘eight days a week’ is easier than ever! Members and non-members easily discover and shop local businesses at the touch of a finger. 

Here at Maps, we’re excited for the New Year as it brings phase two of the Buy Local app to the forefront, and it also means further developing the frame work to scale the program nationally. It’s been a wonderful month of fielding phone calls and emails from CUs across the country eager to incorporate Buy Local into their own CU plan. I know what we roll out for the scalable app will only enhance the member experience for CUs all over the country, and it will enhance the buying local experience of those who have yet to become members.

So, Ho, Ho, Ho, Merrrrrry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a Happy New Year to you and yours!