Valentine’s Day Gifts
With the approach of every heavy retail, buying time; I always think “here we go”, and here we go again with Valentine’s Day 2014. A time of in your face ads, promises of quality, and shelves of cheap imported gifts-including flowers.
The big three gifts of this day are predominantly jewelry, flowers, and chocolate; with plush animals, lingerie and electronics rounding out the top 6 with total sales of nearly 16 billion dollars nationwide. Hmm we muse; then why are our communities in such financial situations if all this money is out there being spent. Because… most of the 16 billion will leave America whether with the products origin or the avenue used to make the purchase. And now, we have another threat-identity theft.
Do The Valentines’s Day Math
It is a simple equation; a townspeople and main street shopping sustain each other. If one or the other leaves, the town suffers and the people suffer. Sometimes we get caught up in things and just go with the flow, kind of like lemmings. We sigh and say “well that is just the way it is now”.
A ‘local’ Target, Walmart, or any other is not a local business, it is a corporate giant with a local presence-big difference. It is of no wonder our local economies are in such trouble; we are giving all of our money to big corporations who send it outside the US border, ironically in return for inferior quality goods made outside the US.
Protect Your Valentine’s Day Heart Protect Your Identity
If your dollars are spent in local, businesses almost $70 out of every $100. stays local as opposed to chain mega-stores where 60% of the nightly deposit is sent out of the state and country within 24 hours. There is no Valentine heart, only enough is kept for their local expenses and the rest sails. And this most definitely, includes big online merchants, because spending it there sends none of the money anywhere near your town much less our country.
And now, yet another reason to stay local… your credit & debit cards are safer. We don’t care about your identity; we care about you coming back again. Identity thieves and hackers don’t concern themselves all that much about the local jewelry store and florist-they want the big guys.
Show Your Valentine You Care
I am both an ecologist and artist first however, I am also a small business advocate and ever so proud of America. Along with greening my business; the second aspect of restructuring to a sustainable eco florist also meant finding local & American anything and everything because I care about my customers, and the planet.
Please don’t let me feel that all I and the 100’s of other businesses have done is in vain. I believe you care-so make the effort . Don’t let your purchases be guided by the cheapest prices because in the scheme of things you will pay dearly.
This Valentine’s Day and every week, seek out a local business, see all they have to offer, see who they are, and remember…. when you buy from a local, small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home or an identity thief run to the mall with your credit card. Buying local helps your neighbor’s daughter get dance lessons, her little brother get his team jersey, their Mom put food on the table, and their dad pay the mortgage.
Your personal information is safer, your credit cards are safer, and your bank account is safer. Customers are the shareholders of local businesses who really strive to make you happy because, they have a name, a face, and ….we live here too, probably right down the road from you. It’s not all about the money and yet it is all about the money. One hand washes the other and also dries the other, and we really need to slow down, take a moment, and just think about our choices-before we have none.
Be safe, call direct