Alex Horton, executive director of the International District Economic Development Center

Editor’s note: Minority-owned small businesses are more likely to fail during COVID. We asked Alex Horton, executive director of the International District Economic Development Center, what retailers we can reach out to and support this holiday season.

As we head into the Thanksgiving season with Christmas around the corner, we are usually making those shopping lists to make sure we get all the right gifts. Amazon, Target, Best Buy have always been on the agenda–doorbusters and Black Friday, the focus–and then, sure, a little “Shop Small” action for good measure, right?

This year the universe compels you to switch up that big box approach–to make sure you focus first on local. This season going small is huge! Let’s put our money and our focus where it should be: Shop POC (people of color). Shop Black-owned for Christmas. Buy Indigenous today. Supporting each other and small business owners of color is important.

When you spend $100 with a local retailer, 68 of those dollars remain in our local economy/ecosystem, compared to $43 when you spend with a national chain. Twenty-five percent more of our money can stay in our dear city and, importantly, in the small businesses and workforces that define our city’s diversity and opportunity.

Our hope is that, with this exposure, more shoppers are aware of their options. The diversity of this community is inspiring, and it is reflected in our small businesses. Small businesses sponsor youth athletes, employ tens of thousands of people in our city and give our film and art scenes a chance to create.

Finally, more importantly, remember to shop locally this holiday season. We have no excuse, Burque. It’s our responsibility and our opportunity. We can reach into our pockets and purses and make sure that, when 2021 comes around, many of the businesses in our city that depend on locals to notice them are still here too.

Alex Horton, International District Economic Development Center

Sat. November 28, 11am
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