Support local this holiday season—and all year long

While striving to shop local/eat local is a mindset worth maintaining year 'round, supporting small businesses throughout the month of December is a must.

Small businesses not only provide residents with needed goods and services, they provide community space and help define a neighborhood's character.

While the convenience of online retailers might beckon, Heights residents can help build camaraderie and strengthen their neighborhoods by investing their dollars into the lifeblood of the Heights—and any—community: mom-and-pop shops, other local retailers, and restaurants.

While the surest way to support local is through spending money in Heights business districts, there are other ways to get the entire neighborhood involved. For example, neighborhood groups and block clubs could pledge to shop local and share with one another the great "finds" that they’ve discovered in local stores.

Groups could also select a local restaurant to cater or host their holiday gatherings.

Neighbors could generate their own local retail or restaurant Bingo cards to encourage shopping/eating local.

Even something as simple as committing to creating a social media post to “shout out” or promote the unique goods and services available in the community can provide a boost to the Heights economy.

Not all manners of support need to cost residents money. Simply following or "liking" favorite local spots on social media channels, then interacting with their posts, can help more people discover them. Writing positive reviews on Yelp, Google, Facebook, and other platforms can drive more traffic to small businesses as well. Talking to neighbors about both new and established shops and restaurants is an even more low-tech way to remind others in the community to support small businesses in Cleveland Heights and University Heights.

This December and beyond, choose to shop and eat local whenever possible. Doing so builds civic pride by ensuring that dollars spent are going directly to a member of the Heights community.  

Sarah Wolf

Sarah Wolf is a Cleveland Heights resident and the community-building programs manager at FutureHeights.

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Volume 16, Issue 12, Posted 4:38 PM, 11.29.2023