The holiday season is coming, and you’re making your list and checking it twice to make sure that you’ve got everyone you need. This is the one time of year when, chances are, you’ll be doing the most shopping.

According to the National Retail Federation, consumers will spend up to 4.1 percent more this holiday season. On average, consumers report that they spend 1,007.24 during the holiday season.

Many stores will benefit from the surge of retail sales. This is good, considering many stores closed their doors this year, including Toys R Us and Sears. However, there is one group of stores that should truly benefit this holiday season — the many local stores.

Connecticut is home to so many quirky and awesome local shops. These shops have truly unique items. Whenever I go to a local store, versus a chain, the experience is often different. Most times, the person ringing me out knows me by name — something that you can’t get when shopping online. That personal experience makes all of the difference.

Additionally, shopping locally also helps to shape the community to make it the unique environment that it is. I’m from Hamden. In Hamden, there are so many different local shops – Whitney Donut, Dava, and Books and Company. Many of these businesses are heavily involved in the community, and are just a part of it in general. All of these local businesses are just a part of the town. By shopping local, we are supporting that.

But, shopping locally benefits not only yourself – but your community as well. First and foremost, you create local jobs. And, according to an article on Independent We Stand entitled What Happens When You Shop Local, by shopping at a local business versus a corporate, more money will be kept in your local economy. The article says that for every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $68 will stay in the community, versus the $43 that will at a national chain.

And, while shopping at a local store benefits the community around you, it also has a global impact. The article on Independent We Stand says that buying from a local business conserves “energy and resources in the form of less fuel for transportation and less packaging.” By using less, we are in a sense helping the environment around us.

Therefore, this holiday season, let’s try to support the local community by putting local gifts under the tree.

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