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This fall, the state of the U.S. and local economy was front and center for many discussions and debates. And our own local Kutztown economy is struggling in its own ways.
Like many families, we don’t have extra income this Christmas. But we still want to enjoy our holiday celebrations and help our economy.
One thing we can do to accomplish both of these goals: support our locally-owned, Kutztown businesses. Economists find that for every
$100 we spend locally, $68 remains in our own community through payroll, taxes, and other expenditures. When we buy at chain stores only $43 returns to our community and when we buy online, nothing returns to our community. That $68 strengthens our schools, our neighbors, our downtown…our community.
So our family has decided to make the commitment this holiday season to have a “Kutztown” Christmas – our gifts will be purchased from the incredible, locally-owned businesses here in Kutztown.
The average American is planning to spend $850 on gifts this holiday season. Just think – there are about 5,000 borough residents, 10,000 KU students, and 1,000 KU employees. If half committed to spending just $50 of their holiday dollars downtown, that would be $40,000 invested into OUR community. And a $27,200 return on our investment!
Will you join us this holiday season in an effort to spend ‘better’even if you are spending ‘less?’
Need some ideas? (Stop reading here if you are on our holiday giftlist!) Here are some of our favorite stocking stuffers and gifts – and all under $20!
For the kids, grab a copy of local Kutztown author, Mara Rockliff’s latest book at Firefly Bookstore, put together an art kit from The Art Store, pick up a few Kutztown Bottling Co sodas and, Santa always puts a toothbrush in our stockings…so help him out with Radius toothbrushes from the Radius Factory. For the adults on your list, gourmet treats or teas from Second Nature, Frying Dutchmen T-shirts, some new bling from Sorrelli, a growler from the Kutztown Tavern (bourbon stout is our favorite) or a bottle of wine from the Vynecrest Shop (we recommend the rose). Pick up or special order your CD’s, DVD’s and games at Young Ones. Fresh roasted coffee from Global Libations or Frothie hand soaps from Paisley and Co. make a perfect hostess gifts.
Plus you can get your holiday cards printed up at Colasanti Print Works, order a holiday goodie plate from the College Town Bakery, and check out the holiday market at the Independent Space. If you can’t decide, grab a gift card from the Kutztown Community Partnership online at http://www.keepinitkutztown.com. If you browse the shops, I’m sure you’ll find your own favorites.
See ya shopping downtown!
Erin Kraal and Jacob Sewall
Borough residents and KU faculty members
References: Civic Economics (reinvestment numbers) and the American Research Group (holiday spending).