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“This is the place.”

We’re used to hearing that Salt Lake City. It’s part of our shared language, whether said in jest, in irony, or utter sincerity, for those of use who love to call Salt Lake City home, “this is the place.”

It is the place where hardscrabble pioneers transformed a desert into the thriving economic and cultural epicenter of the Intermountain West.  It is the place where our fierce independence matches our commitment to community. There is no finer example of the distillation of this committed independence than the spirit of Utah’s local, independent businesses.

In honor of this brave, entrepreneurial spirit, Governor Gary Herbert, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams and more than 50 other mayors throughout Utah declare July 1st – 7th as Independents Week.

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Encompassing the national celebration of Independence Day, “Independents Week” is a time to honor the contributions of locally owned independent businesses to our economies and our communities.

Independents return more money to our local economy than national retailers—four times more to be specific. Spending $100 in a nationally owned retailer will return $13.60 to our local economy. Spending $100 in a locally owned business will return $55.30 to our Utah economy.*

Money spent here stays here. Why? The answer lies in “The Science of Localnomics,” Which, simply put, is the natural way that locally owned, independent businesses organize the production, purchase and sale of goods and services in a manner that encourages economic prosperity and builds community.

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When your hard-earned money changes hands with a local business owner, it becomes their hard earned money. It doesn’t go to a distant bank account, or into their shareholders’ pockets. Rather, it changes hands again—paying a graphic designer, a plumber, or an accountant.

Most of these service providers are also local business owners. Thus, your money continues to circulate through our economy, generating tax revenue used to increase the quality of our roads, schools, and emergency services. When our money recirculates in our economy, it keeps independent from effects of the ebbs and flows, and sometimes crashes of the larger global markets.

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When we choose to buy from local businesses, it’s the people behind those businesses that we are choosing. We are choosing other people who love this place—this. place.—in the same way we do.

That is why, as we celebrate our freedom as a nation, we celebrate our independent businesses in Utah. They are emblematic of all that is contained in the American Dream. Their contributions set Utah apart as a place like none other, and their legacy will make Utah a destination for those with the same love of community and independence for generations.

*Blog post contributed by Kristen Lavelett, Local First Utah