Saturday, November 10, 2012

Black Friday is out: Indie shopping is in, and Plaid Friday is November 23.

NABC is a founding member of New Albany First, which is our city’s independent business association (IBA). It is the New Albany version of the Louisville Independent Business Alliance (LIBA), which encourages you to Keep Louisville Weird), and is dedicated to encouraging the public to support independently owned, small local businesses.

IBAs accomplish this through three primary focus areas:

1. Public education about the greater overall value local independents often can provide (even when they are not the cheapest) as well as the vital economic, social and cultural role independent businesses play in the community.

2. Facilitating cooperative promotion, advertising, purchasing, sharing of skills and resources and other activities to help local businesses gain economies of scale and compete more effectively.

3. Creating a strong and uncompromised voice to speak for local independents in the local government and media while engaging citizens in guiding the future of their community through democratic action.

NABC and our brethren sink or swim as locally oriented independents, and many of us have pledged support via New Albany First. Happily, the approaching holiday season provides a perfect opportunity to put principles into action.

We all know that “Black Friday” (November 23) is the biggest sales day of the year for big boxes and multinational chain stores -- the ones where the money flees town for corporate headquarters worldwide. In response to media hype and saturation advertising, which steer so much trade to the country's biggest, richest and largest companies on “Black Friday,” the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), of which New Albany First is a member, promotes Shift Your Shopping, of which Plaid (as opposed to Black) Friday is a component.

Instead of Black Friday it’s PLAID FRIDAY! Shift Your Shopping and wear plaid as you shop on Friday to remind yourself and others to make the 10% Shift. The 10% Shift encourages you to shift 10% of your holiday purchases from non-local businesses to Local Independents (also called indies or locally owned and independent businesses). Making the shift to local independents is one way we can build sustainable economies and create jobs in our local community.

It’s simple. You're not being asked to go cold turkey -- just allocate a percentage to independent local businesses, and learn what they can do for you. New Albany First can help locate indies, and another good idea is to follow the "buy local" answer woman, Kate Caufield, whose blog is devoted precisely to this topic: New Albany 365. Local independent business thank you for your support.

Note: Plaid Friday is part of NABC's annual slate of activities around Thanksgiving. For more details, go here.

No comments: