Partnership News and Views: Skip the supply chain headaches, shop local
Christmas is coming…hopefully.
Holiday shoppers are finding that supply chain disruptions could impact their gift-giving plans.
Strong consumer demand for goods, combined with labor shortages and disruptions to freight, shipping, and manufacturing, have left the supply chain snarled. Some products are hard to find, and when you buy them online, it can take a long time to get them delivered. Retailers – and even the White House – are encouraging holiday shoppers to start early, and urging them to be prepared for delays in delivery and product shortages – which most of us have already encountered over the last few months. Reports show that half of Americans have already begun their holiday shopping – and of those, 70% have already run into out-of-stock issues.
One way to beat supply chain woes during the holiday season? Shop local.
Local businesses offer products that are created locally, meaning you don’t need to wait months for them to arrive at your doorstep – they’re already here in town. Local artists, designers, boutiques, and other retailers are stocked up with one-of-a-kind products that make great gifts. And don’t forget gift cards to restaurants, salons, fitness and yoga centers, and other businesses that offer experiences and quality time instead of “stuff.”
Not only will it save you the long wait for products, shopping locally will also keep your money in the community, recirculating in our local economy and making it more sustainable over the long run: for every $100 you spend at a local business, $68 stays in the community – compared to only $43 for every $100 at a chain store.
To make your holiday shopping easier yet, you can bypass supply chain snafus and support local businesses with the Love on Local program, which offers prepaid gift cards that can be used at any local small businesses throughout Marquette County. The Lake Superior Community Partnership kicked off the Love On Local program in 2020 to bring more customers to Marquette County businesses during the pandemic, with support from underwriters like AT&T, Eagle Mine, Enbridge, mBank, and Range Bank.
Love On Local has been a huge win both for local businesses and their customers, promoting local purchasing and growing business revenues. Since June 2020, with over $325,000 in sales, the program has sold 3,200 gift cards, and featured 76 businesses.
Local business support like this was a lifeline for small businesses that were forced to scale back or close during the pandemic, bringing in revenue and customers when shopping and sales were constrained. Now, the Love On Local gift card program is the perfect solution to holiday shopping as we face yet another COVID-related business challenge. And it’s a solution that pays off not just for the lucky recipients of the gift cards, but for the community overall.
Visit the LSCP website or download the Love on Local app to purchase gift cards, participate in our monthly drawings for local spending, and check out our video series that helps market our local businesses on Marquette.org. For more information or to find out how your business can participate in the gift card program, contact email@example.com.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Sarah Lucas is CEO of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.