You’ve all heard all the figures about why you should shop local, right? You know, like, how for every $100 you spend at a local business, the amount of your money that stays in your community is way higher than if you spend that same $100 at a chain store? Or how small businesses are the biggest creator of jobs?
This video from Buy Local Berkeley explains:
It seems like everyone in Oakland is constantly talking about how much they love local businesses. When you go to meetings about retail revitalization, whether it’s about a specific neighborhood or some general citywide thing, there is always overwhelming enthusiasm from the audience for filling all our storefront with adorable, locally owned little shops. Which is great, right?
The Great Oakland Grown Holiday Challenge
But here’s the thing about those shops. Once we get them, they can’t stay open unless people go buy things at them. Which is why, this holiday season, Oakland Grown is asking you to make a pledge to do your holiday shopping in Oakland.
Like the car-free challenge, it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing thing — Becks noted yesterday that she signed up for half. I am also pledging only 50%, because I’ve already bought a bunch of my gifts. In my defense, it was at an independent business, FYI. The business just happened to be located in Berkeley. (I got there on the bus, BTW.) Plus I have my heart set on giving one very lucky person a souvenir from the greatest bar in the universe, which I will be visiting this weekend. And also because I already promised my little sister that I would get her Voldemort’s Ward, although, if anybody is aware of a store in Oakland selling that thing, please let me know and I’ll go buy it there.
The Oakland Grown Holiday Gift Guide
Perhaps you’re thinking “Well, that sounds good and all, but I don’t know where I would even find good presents in Oakland. Shopping local is kind of a pain.”
Just yesterday, I was talking to someone about buying Christmas presents, and they were all “So. What do you think of Omaha Steaks?”. I was all “OMG, dude. You don’t buy your Christmas presents in Oakland?” And they’re all “Well, I’m buying a present for my brother who lives on the East Coast. I just want to be able to order something and have someone else deal with the shipping. What Oakland store can I do that with?”
And I was all, “Just look on the Oakland Grown Holiday Gift Guide, and I’m sure you will find something.”
And if you’re having trouble thinking of things to buy in Oakland, you should check it out too. They have done a fabulous job putting it together.
Whether you’re looking for sporting goods, house stuff, jewelry, clothing, or entertainment, Oakland Grown’s holiday gift guide tells you where to find it right here in Oakland. They even have a whole section for gifts under $25. And for those too busy to go shopping, For those too busy to go shopping, they even have a special category for Oakland stores where you can shop online. How handy is that?
Other Oakland gift options
If you’re not into stuff, another nice present is a gift membership to a local organization, for example, the Friends of the Oakland Public Library (your giftee can get discounts all year long at local bookstores) or the Friends of Oakland Parks and Recreation or the League of Women Voters of Oakland. Or maybe you could give the gift of an experience, like tickets to the Oakland Symphony or a membership at the Oakland Museum of California. (Have you guys gone to see the Pixar exhibit there yet? Go soon!)