News : It Pays to Think Outside the (Holiday) Box

Jan 20, 2015

Originally published on Business NH Magazine online.

By Kristyn Lak Miller

Giving a gift is an investment in a relationship, buying that gift locally is an investment in community, and making sure it’s a green gift is an investment in the future.

“Supporting local, green businesses offers tremendous ROI [return on investment],” says Sarah Brown, director of Green Alliance in Portsmouth. According to a Civic Economics study, she says independent retailers return 52 percent of revenue to the local economy compared to 14 percent for Big Box retailers. And according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, local stores help sustain a vibrant, walkable town center—as opposed to the big retailers that often reside on the edge of town—and are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

“Beyond economic and environmental benefits, shopping local cultivates community connections,” says Brown. “There’s really nothing like a shopkeeper greeting you by name, asking about your family, being more than just a fleeting face at the cash register.”

Read the full story on Business NH Magazine online here.