Photo via Bowen’s Wharf

We hear a lot about “shop local”, “support local”, “eat local” and so on. We say it, share it and preach it; this holiday season it’s really time to follow through and actually do it!

There’s no secret that locally owned, independent businesses have been among those businesses hardest hit during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These restaurants and shops employ our neighbors, the ownership/management/staff dine and shop locally themselves and they keep our little island the wonderful community that it is.

“When you buy from a small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom put food on the table, a dad pay a mortgage or a student pay for college. ” ~ Unknown

With Christmas and the holiday giving season just weeks away, the next several weeks are going to be really crucial for all of our beloved independent small businesses in the area.  If you can, try to buy your holiday gifts early and from local, independent stores, artists, and musicians. Many have adjusted this year to offer contactless pickup, shipping, and/or online ordering. Support your neighbors this season.

Here are 15 reasons to keep your cash close to home this holiday season;

Courtesy of MetroFamilyMagazine.com

  1. Keep Money Local—Sales taxes fund our communities and provide vital services such as police and fire protection, street repairs and trash collection.
  2. Local Investment—Local businesses are less susceptible to national downturns and more likely to work harder to stay open.
  3. Locally-Made Products—Local business owners often sell local products, which helps preserve the community’s distinction and creates more jobs locally, as well.
  4. Support for Nonprofits—Local businesses support good work in our community. “Studies show that nonprofits receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large ones,” explains Sue Lynn Sasser, PhD, professor of economics at the University of Central Oklahoma.
  5. Discover Interesting Things and People 
  6. Personal Connection—Getting to know the store owners is a great reason to shop local.
  7. Product Knowledge—Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling.
  8. Diverse Products—Local stores carry inventory you might not find at national chain stores.
  9. Cost Effective—“Sometimes prices at local businesses are better because they don’t have the overhead that larger stores may have and they may be more willing to negotiate to meet your price needs,” Sasser says.
  10. Better Experience—Local shopping can translate to more convenient retail experiences.
  11. Less “Leakage”—Local businesses tend to buy and sell with other local businesses.
  12. Increased Expertise—Shopping at a local store means you can get an expert opinion about the products that you’re purchasing. “Local shop owners have to be experts in their field to compete. Use them—ask them questions and get advice about products,” Bailey encourages.
  13. Create Community—“We are a transitory society so people don’t always have a connection with the communities where they live. I would encourage people new to an area to ask the locals where they shop,” Sasser says.
  14. Better Service—Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take more time to get to know their customers.
  15. Support Future Growth—Shopping locally is the best way to show pride in Newport and help protect the businesses that make our city unique.

Shop and Dine Local This Holiday Season! 

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.

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