As we quickly move into the holiday shopping season I want to talk about how the small things we do can make a big difference this year.
Everyone says we need to invest in America, and you can use you hard earned money to support others by buying products Made in America. You can double your efforts by purchasing your gifts at small businesses instead of giant box stores.
First we can start by supporting union made products. Labor 411 has an entire website designed to promote union made products. You can search for a gift and see if you can get an American and Union Made product.
Many of the products on the Labor 411 site highlight everyday products that you can buy and support union workers. Right now they are highlighting a Union Made Thanksgiving.
Then if you cannot find a union made product, try looking for your gift on Made in The USA Forever. Another site where you can order products that are all made in the USA.
Some great ideas are clothes like Carhartt. The NH Labor News showcased Carhartt’s efforts to increase American manufacturing and created their Made In The USA line.
If you have to buy products that were not made in the USA, you can use this site that tracks products from overseas. They work to ensure that workers rights are protected, and that no child labor was used, etc
Lastly, skip the black friday craziness and spend you money more wisely. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a little know shopping day called, Small Business Saturday. This is the best way to support the businesses in your local community.
Use you money wisely this year, spend money locally and support Made In America products.
Below is a viral email that was sent to me that explains why we need to support Made In America products. It also has some excellent ideas on how you can support you local businesses with gift ideas. (Note: if anyone knows who wrote this I would like to give them credit)
Christmas 2012 — Birth of a New Tradition
As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor.
This year will be different.
This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans.
There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by an Americans hands.
Yes there is!
It’s time to think outside the box, people.
Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber? Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who thinks nothing of plonking down the dollars on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates.
And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint.
Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town American with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.
Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip.
And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theater.
Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of lights, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about us, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams.
And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.
This is a revolution of caring about each other, and isn’t that what Christmas is about?
BUY USA – BE AMERICAN – The job you save might be your own.