WINTER 2018 11 Shift Your Shopping to Local Independent Businesses S hift Your Shopping is a program of the American Independent Business Alliance. It encourages individuals and businesses to “shift” more of their holiday shopping—as well as holiday entertaining and dining—to local independent businesses. Its mission is to “build a tradition that strengthens local economies, expands local employment, nurtures a sense of community, and provides a more relaxed, fun, and rewarding holiday shop- ping experience.” Part of this program is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, which began in 2010. A more recent addition is Plaid Friday, a pro-local antidote to the chain- centered Black Friday on the day after Thanksgiving. Plaid Friday is meant to represent the weaving of individual threads of small businesses together to create a strong fabric that celebrates the diversity and creativity of independent businesses. A shift to more local purchases represents a significant contribution to the local economy. For example, local independent stores help employ more people than just those on the sales floor. These businesses are also more likely to bank with local banks, hire local service providers, and buy products from other local businesses compared to absentee- owned businesses. Purchasing from remote online retailers such as Amazon provides virtually no local eco- nomic benefit. The American Independent Business Alliance calculates only one percent of the cost of an online purchase will go back your community. On average, more than three times as much of each dollar spent at a local independent business recirculates in our local economy compared to a dollar spent at chain stores. While we don’t have to swear off all shopping online or at chain stores, it makes sense for all of us to look for ways to integrate our values into our purchasing decisions. If we shift more of our shopping to local independent businesses, it will have a positive impact on our local economies and help maintain or build local jobs. RTC encourages you to Shift Your Shopping during this holiday season. Perhaps you can join the new Shift 10 movement by trying to shift 10 percent of your spending to local purchases. By doing so, you’ll not only be buying gifts for family and friends, you’ll also be giving a gift to our North Dakota communities. Play the Pick-It Bowl Challenge and Score Prizes RTC invites you to join the fun of this year’s Pick-It Bowl Challenge, a free contest featuring college football bowl games. Here’s the game plan: December 2 – December 14: Picking Phase The bowl teams have been chosen, and you must pick your winning teams during this period. December 15 – January 7: Game Times Follow the games and track how your picks compare with other football fans in our service area. The Pick-It Bowl Challenge is always popular, since it features an easy-to- play format and a shot at winning awesome prizes: • 1st Place – Nest Doorbell with RTC Installation • 2nd Place – Smart Home Package • 3rd Place – Beats Headphones Everyonewhoparticipateshasachance to win, so pick your teams today at http://rtc.pickitchallenge.com. Good luck!