Spend Locally – A New and Urgent Series from ELi

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Yarn from Woven Art, candles from Clever Clover, and a pink spinel set from Sundance Jewelers.

Each year, ELi has tried to make a point of bringing you gift ideas so that you can keep your carbon footprint lower, get out and enjoy your community, and pump money into the local economy.

This year, we’re pulling out all the stops in an effort to persuade as many people as possible to spend locally. The situation in East Lansing is dire. This is a city where restaurants and shops normally count on festivals, football games, and MSU students, staff, and faculty wandering across Grand River Avenue for a large chunk of their business. 

Now, we are watching as some of our long-time favorite local businesses face bankruptcy. This, in turn, will impact the people they employ, and drag down, too, the entire economy of East Lansing.

It’s time to give up on the idea of the perfect gift and buy the gift that will keep local businesses going.

At ELi, we have been huddling to figure out what we can do to inspire you to safely spend locally. So, we are calling all reporting hands on deck to bring you information from restaurants and shops that hopefully make it easy for you to find ways to pump money into the local economy. 

Check out what we’ve already published here!

And don’t wait for more of our coming stories to start helping our local merchants! Here are some tips on what you can do right now!

  • Order take-out the old-fashioned way: call the restaurant. Doing it this way may not be as slick as using an app, but when you call and pay direct, the restaurant doesn’t face a huge app service charge. (Yes, the apps charge you AND charge them.) If you can afford to do so, give a generous tip when you pick up your food.
  • Call your favorite shop and ask them to help pick out things for you to purchase for yourself or as gifts. Merchants are always very happy to do that! You can do this with Curious Books, Flat Black and Circular, Clever Clover and Mad Eagle, Campbell’s Smoke Shop, the unaffiliated Campbell’s Market Basket, Evergreen Cycles, and so many other places!
  • Buy gift certificates. This helps give merchants funds immediately, and you or your giftees can use them when the economy is doing better.

Again, this year, consider the possibility that “the perfect gift” is one that may be a little offbeat but that keeps money in the local system.

One fun idea? Give someone a “when it’s all over” package of goodies – things they will be able to enjoy when life gets back to normal! This could include a stadium seat pad with a Spartan sweatshirt from Campus Corner or SBS, or a set of camping chairs from Moosejaw that you’ll plan to use together when the Summer Solstice Jazz Festival returns! And of course you can always gift a dinner to be eaten at your favorite restaurant, bistro, or pub when it’s possible again!

Share your love of East Lansing by consciously spending locally starting now!

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