SALT LAKE CITY — Shopping local is being pushed this time of year, as Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams has called on Utahns everywhere to "Shift Your Spending."
The shopping season is now in high gear, but how much will Utahns spend at a locally owned business?
Corey Folster opened the store "Unhinged" in Sugar House about three years ago. Inside is a collection of, well, all sorts of items, old and new — and certainly unique.
It was in this setting that Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams chose to launch the "Shift Your Spending" campaign for the holiday season.
“If we can shift 10 percent of our spending to supporting local businesses, we will see that that spending, the majority of that spending, will stay here in the local economy," McAdams said.
And if that concept is spread statewide, the impacts could be significant.
“If every household in Utah shifted just 10 percent of their shopping toward locally owned businesses, $1.3 billion would stay in our local economy over the course of the year," said Kristen Lavelett, executive director of Local First Utah.
I think that's the secret of local and small shops, is that we can find things and bring things that are one of a kind in small quantities that you're not going to see anywhere else or no one else will have.
–Corey Folster, "Unhinged" owner
McAdam's announcement coincides with Small Business Saturday, which occurs Nov. 29 this year. The nationwide campaign began just a few years ago, also to encourage shoppers to support local businesses.
Folster says he's seen an increase in the number of customers coming into his store, and hopes the "10 percent spend local" campaign adds to it.
“Black Friday is a good day, but we discovered three years ago at the very beginning of Small Business Saturday that that was kind of our day,” Folster said.
Betsy Burton, longtime owner of the King's English Bookshop, has seen it too.
“Huge. Huge. Last Small Business Saturday we had the biggest shopping day except the Saturday before Christmas,” Burton said.
Yes, many will spend money at the big box stores and other major retail outlets this season. But it's also OK to “shop small."
“I think that's the secret of local and small shops, is that we can find things and bring things that are one-of-a-kind in small quantities that you're not going to see anywhere else or no one else will have," Folster said.