, Newburyport, MA

December 5, 2013

Shop locally, it's well worth it

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

I and my family would like to thank the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce for the “cash mob” event they organized for Small Business Saturday. Not knowing exactly what to expect at the event, we were pleasantly surprised to be given a $25 American Express gift card with only one rule: to spend it locally!

We have noticed that recently there is much discussion of holiday shopping itself: small vs. big box, local vs. mall, brick-and-mortar vs. cyberspace. While I am sure a person can find positives to any shopping practice, the Chamber’s cash mob shopping event demonstrated what Small Business Saturday has to offer us that other options do not: community. In the abundant sunshine and chill morning air, attendees of the event gathered in a loose circle in Market Square: no lines, no tents! We smiled at each other, introduced ourselves, caught up with friends we hadn’t known would be there: connection, not competition.

We waved our $10 bills and smiled for the camera, happily anticipating not what we were going to buy for $10 and our giftcards, but rather the pleasure of helping a local small business feel especially supported and appreciated: giving, and not getting.

The Chamber’s cash mob event reminded us that Newburyport is a beautiful, unique, friendly community full of inhabitants that share a common consciousness: just how lucky we are to live here. Shopping at small and local businesses ensures the survival of a core component of what makes Newburyport the strong and thriving community that it is to live, work, and play. As the holiday shopping season continues, we’ll continue to enjoy the pleasure of shopping small and local, and the opportunities that practice provides to connect with our wonderful community. Thanks again to the Newburyport Chamber of Commerce for this fun, thought-provoking and meaningful event.

Betsy, Matthew, Owen and Molly Davis