Think Local During Holiday Shopping

Thursday, December 11th 2008, 8:00 pm
By: News 9

By Jennifer Pierce, NEWS 9

OKLAHOMA CITY -- With the economy in recession, locals are pushing for support of hometown business and Oklahoma made products, especially during the holiday shopping season.

The equation is pretty simple, for every $100 you spend at a locally owned business, and average of $45 goes back into the local economy. But, that same $100 spent at a corporate chain puts only $13 back into the local economy.

Northpark Mall is one of the only metro malls that showcases all locally owned businesses, helping shoppers think local. Local business owner Darwin Bragg entices holiday shoppers with
sweet smells and personalized products to the Red Fox Paperie.

"Graphic design is one of my backgrounds, so I custom design monograms a lot of times," Bragg said.

His unique creations and merchandise set him apart from the norm.

"It's something you're not going to find at the big stores," Bragg said.

While holiday sales are picking up, Bragg said shoppers are still choosing corporate chains and the internet over him for convenience.

"You can't go to Chicago and go to the Red Fox or Silks Etc. or Lime Leopard. You can go anywhere and go to Walmart or go to Target," Jeffri-Lynn Dyer with the Oklahoma Gazette said.

But Dyer wants to change that. She's spearheading a movement new to the metro called Unchained America, an initiative to get shoppers away from what she calls the ‘big box stores' and into local businesses.

"The money that is spent in a local establishment is circulated six times throughout your local economy versus just the one time with a big box," Dyer said.

She said if the money stays here, Oklahoma can stay recession proof.

So far, 45 local business owners are part of the America Unchained movement. They are forming a Central Oklahoma Independent Business Association that will kick off in January.