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Keeping Acadiana Green This Holiday Season

Nov 15, 2017 02:42PM ● By Staff Writer
This holiday season, whether buying gifts for an entire family or just a few friends, the money you spend and where you spend it makes a lasting impact on the economy and the environment. Shopping locally during holiday season is not just altruism, but an opportunity for economic growth. While shopping either at the mall or online with an out-of-state retail giant may seem convenient, you might consider instead the unique gifts and services available only at locally owned businesses, boutiques, and service companies. 

When patronizing a local company, you invest in the greater economy: a local business owner uses the money to pay employees, buy more inventory, and purchase goods and services from other local businesses, creating a virtuous cycle that strengthens the community and enhances the value of local shopping choices. Your purchase not only creates job security but encourages that employer to seek new hires and generates new business. This momentum drives the creation of more shops, boutiques, restaurants and other businesses. 

Shopping locally also cuts down on the processing, packaging, and transportation of products coming in from out of state, and supports the growing “maker movement” of talented Cajun artisans and small business owners who produce handmade, one-of-a-kind gifts that can be found only in Acadiana. 

This season, when making your favorite traditional shopping stops, whether downtown, River Ranch, the Oil Center, or a hundred places in between, do not forget the Lafayette Farmers and Artisans Market at beautiful Moncus Park, which weekly features over 50 local vendors who grow, produce, and handcraft everything sold at the market. The market, open every Saturday from 8:00 a.m. - noon, offers fresh local and organic produce, grass-fed beef, pork, lamb, honey, artisan breads, fresh cut flowers and free-range eggs. You will also find a great selection of Cajun, Greek, Indian, and Mexican cuisines. Mark Hernandez, the Market Director, says holiday shopping will start during Shop Small Saturday on November 25, and, starting December 1, shoppers can enjoy Les Amis Christmas with Caroling by the French immersion students.

That dollar in your pocket has greater power than you may realize. Chances are either you or someone you know is employed at a locally owned business. To ensure you get the local services and products you need from these familiar faces, it’s not only in the greater community’s interest but your own, to back Acadiana business. You reap definite rewards, not the least of which is the chance to buy unique items you simply can’t get anywhere else. 

So, this year, when you feel the need to shop, drive to a locally-owned merchant first. You’ll be supporting our economy, creating jobs, and improving our community for years to come.