Voices    Lifestyle

Opinion: Why you should shop local this holiday season

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko via Pexels

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Cath Shaw Truelove is the owner of local plant + gift shop Bees on a Bicycle and an advocate for spending your money where you live.

Chattanooga rocks with its array of local businesses and people who support them. It is more important now than ever to add local shops to your buying habits. This choice keeps small, unique places in our community. 

Still on the fence about buying local? Here are a few things to consider:

It’s good for our community

One of the things I love about shopping in small towns are the local shops. I have fond memories of living in Paris as a young girl, going to the green grocer, the butcher, the cheese shop, and home. In that same tradition here, when I want cheese, I head over to Bleu Fox Cheese Shop.

Choosing local keeps the money here, rather than where dividend holders live + taxes from local businesses contribute at a much higher rate than corporate entities headquartered in other states.

You can help out the little guy

Each day I bet you wake up and say “Gosh, those poor billionaires. I need to help them out.”


Mass merchandising, planned obsolescence, among other systems affect buying behaviors

Millions of products are produced and offered at irresistible prices so we can all work together to help out the billionaires.

But there’s an alternative. Shopping small helps our local tax base, which funnels into our schools, road repair, etc.

Shopkeepers are the people that live here in Chattanooga. They fuel small shops and work hard. They’re neighbors and friends out there taking risks to make the American dream come true.

You can minimize + economize

I used to own 22 pencil skirts and 40 vases. I wanted #AllTheThings. Then I got divorced. I sold a lot of my possessions to make ends meet, and couldn’t afford a car for two years. It was a weird and humbling time. I wrote a book about it, in fact.

Here’s what I learned: having one is better than 22 or 40. This may sound weird coming from a shopkeeper who sells things for a living. But I’d rather see folks get what they love rather than amass a collection that burdens them.

An invitation

Consider shopping small in Chattanooga. These ideas may not be convenient or easy to digest. Instead, they are intended as a cause for pause.

Let’s do great things and support our neighbors and friends. Let’s make the rest of 2020 + 2021 one for the books. Let’s keep Chattanooga strong.