Jamaica Plain residents who want to make their holiday gift giving more meaningful by purchasing from local shops rather than chain stores can pick up a newly released local business directory starting Thursday, Dec. 3.
JP Local First’s 2016 directory of locally owned, sustainable businesses will be available at a kickoff celebration at City Feed & Supply, 672 Centre St., Dec. 3, from 6 to 8 p.m. This coincides with monthly “First Thursday” events at JP businesses. Members of the public are invited to pick up a free directory, sample specialty foods and drinks, and meet some of the JP Local First members who do not have storefronts—such as massage therapists, photographers, consultants, and landscapers. JP Local First has 175 member businesses and organizations.
The new directory includes a “passport” that customers can complete by collecting stamps from member businesses in four shopping areas: Centre/South, Hyde/Jackson, Egleston and Forest Hills. Completed passports can be entered into a quarterly prize drawing.
Shoppers can begin filling in their passports on Saturday, Dec. 5, as many JP stores participate in “Shop with a Cause.” Purchases made during specific times that day will benefit a charity of the business’s choice. JP Local First’s Facebook and Twitter feeds (facebook.com/localfirstjp, @JPLocalFirst) will have details from participating businesses.
Spending holiday shopping dollars locally helps JP’s local business community to thrive. Research shows that each dollar spent at a local business returns three times more money to the local economy than a dollar spent at a chain. Beyond the financial aspects, shopping at locally owned businesses makes it possible for you to get to know the owners, who are often your neighbors as well.
Independent businesses give JP its unique personality and create jobs and opportunities without pressure from distant investors and stockholders.
For more information about JP’s locally owned businesses, visit www.jplocalfirst.org.