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Shop locally for holiday gifting

As the holiday shopping season kicks into full gear this week, skip the big-box frenzy and share an eco-friendlier day on Local Business Saturday.

Across the country, local retailers will be celebrating Small Business Saturday on November 24. Shoppers can find local stores near them by entering their city or zip code in the American Express Shop Small map locator.

In Kansas City, shoppers can find lots of local options on ShopLocalKC.

Some local shopping districts, like Waldo and Brookside, will have special events like Waldo Small Business Saturday Crawl and Brookside Small Business Day. The City Market will host A Very Merry Market with local artisans from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. on November 23 – 24 at 20 E. 5thSt., Kansas City, MO.

Forty-eight percent of the dollars spent at local, independent shops stay in the local economy, compared to 14 percent of purchases made at chain stores, according to KC Source Link, the sponsor of ShopLocalKC. If just 10 percent of people shifted their spending from chains to local businesses, it could bring an additional $235-million per year to that community’s economy.

Locally owned businesses are often more environmentally friendly by purchasing from local suppliers that require less transportation. They are generally located in the middle of the city, instead of the fringe, which means they contribute less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

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