Go Local This Holiday Season

Planning some shopping to spread cheer this holiday season? Consider picking up a one-of-a-kind creation from your local small businesses and give the gift that keeps on giving.

Did you know every dollar spent at independent businesses is returned threefold to your local economy? Or that small businesses create two out of three new U.S. jobs annually? So when you patronize local establishments, you're not only putting your hard-earned dollars to work in your community, you're supporting the economic engines that fuel our national economy.

Independent, community-serving businesses typically consume less land, carry more locally made products, locate closer to residents and create less traffic and air pollution, so it's good for the environment too.

And locally sourced goods and services are often crafted by local artisans and are exclusive to our region, making for memorable gift-giving during the holidays and beyond.

If you prefer your gifts without a shiny bow - like 25 percent of respondents noted in Deloitte's 32nd Annual Holiday Survey - gift an "experience" to watch a local band, dine at a family-run restaurant, or attend a holiday event with friends and family.

Celebrations outside the home, including holiday entertaining and socializing, represent roughly 40 percent of total holiday spending and are another way to support small businesses and boost the local economy.

Show support for entrepreneurs and small businesses not only during the holidays, but throughout the year.