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Cedaredge celebrates its 'independents'

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Cedaredge businesses and citizens are encouraged to welcome the 4th of July with a bang as the town encourages shopping at locally-owned independent businesses. The shop-local campaign kicks off on July 1 and extends to July 7 with Thursday, July 5, designated as Shop Cedaredge Day.

The Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce and the Town of Cedaredge's economic development department are collaborating with the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) to celebrate National Independents Week July 1-7, to recognize the many valuable contributions that locally-owned businesses make to the community. Independents Week, now in its 15th year, celebrates the entrepreneurial spirit that keeps the local and national economies ticking along.

"During this week, we celebrate our independence as a nation but we also celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit and freedom that is embodied by our independent businesses," said Alisha Komives, executive director of the chamber.

"It's a time to reflect on the importance of economic democracy and community self-determination by celebrating the nation's locally owned independent businesses and the stake each citizen has in shaping their hometown's future," said AMIBA director Jennifer Rockne.

During this week, organizers encourage the community to shop Cedaredge and the Surface Creek Valley first. "If it's been a while since you've visited the retail shops, restaurants and service businesses the Surface Creek Valley has to offer, we invite you to reacquaint yourself with the amazing selection available here," said Mitchell Gronenthal, president of the chamber, himself an independent business owner of Reve Portraits. "Independent businesses help give the community it's distinct personality, and this is a great opportunity to celebrate our great independent businesses that exemplify the uniqueness of Cedaredge," he said.

There are many reasons to keep your hard-earned dollars circulating in your hometown community, explained Kami Collins, the economic development coordinator for the Town of Cedaredge. "We know that each dollar spent in a local, independently owned business returns three times more money to the local economy than a dollar spent in a chain or online," she said. The multiplier effect created by spending locally generates lasting impact on the prosperity of local organizations and residents. Small businesses donate more than twice as much per sales dollar to local non-profits, events, youth organizations and teams compared to big businesses. In a 2011 study, researchers at Pennsylvania State University analyzed 2,953 counties of various demographics and circumstances. After controlling for unrelated factors, they found counties with more small, locally owned businesses enjoyed greater per capita income growth, while greater concentrations of large absentee-owned businesses were associated with lowered incomes. Local businesses also tend to be more open to carrying goods crafted by local artisans, crafters and food producers.

"Bottom line, in so many ways, our local businesses are the lifeblood of our community," Collins said. "The best way to maintain the health of the Surface Creek is really to embrace the shop local ideology. We hope National Independents Week is a reminder for consumers to do more of their shopping locally while also celebrating and honoring the hard work and dedication of our locally owned businesses. This week is also a fantastic time to try out one of the new restaurants or shops we have in the Surface Creek."

"There is data available that shows that if every family in the U.S. spent just an extra $10 a month at a locally owned independent business instead of a national chain, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to the economy," Komives added. "During this week, we hope the community can spend just $10 more at a Surface Creek business and start a chain reaction of community support." She added that several businesses will offer in store promotions on Thursday, July 5 as a way to celebrate National Independents Week.

Be sure to check-out the July 4th issue of the DCI -- also a proud family-owned, local independent business -- for special events, discounts, and coupons.

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