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Guest opinion

Resolve to shop local

As 2012 comes to a close, many of us will make resolutions for the new year to lose weight, read a book, learn a language, or one of a million other goals we have put off to improve our well being. However, there is something we can do to make a far greater impact on our own lives and in our community: pledge to shift 10 percent of the money you spend from national chains to independent businesses.

Studies show that for every $100 spent at a chain, only $13 stays and benefits the local community. Conversely, that $100 spent at local businesses keeps $45 in the local economy.

It is estimated that if an average American city shifted 10% of their spending from national chains to local businesses, it would bring an additional $235 million per year to the community's economy. This equates to more jobs created, dependable services, and an improved standard of living.

Easily shift 10% of your spending this year by pledging to lose that weight at a local gym, buy that book at an independent bookstore, or learn a new language from a local instructor. Find other ways to shift and 2200 independent businesses at www.localfirstaz.com.

Kimber Lanning is the executive director of Local First Arizona.

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