gmhTODAY 11 gmhToday Nov Dec 2016 - Page 26

The Holiday Hometown Advantage “Main Street” is making a comeback in cities across America, and Gilroy and Morgan Hill are part of the trend. This isn’t some homespun revival. On the contrary, it’s a modern movement led by people who want to save their cities from becoming bedroom communities. gmh TODAY met recently with some creative and capable folks in Gilroy and Morgan Hill who are helping to make our “Main Streets” better than ever by creating economic vitality, a shared sense of place, and a healthy community. Shop Local, Shop Small In this holiday season, Shop Local and Shop Small programs shine a light on the South County business community. One example is Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday got its start in 2010 as the brain- child of American Express. Over the next five years it gained national recognition from the White House, the U.S. Senate and governors and mayors in all 50 states. Thousands of organizations and individuals have signed up to rally their neighborhoods around the day. In 2014, an estimated $14.3 Billion was spent on Small Business Saturday, and last year, an unprecedented 95 million people shopped small businesses in their communities. In 2016, Small Business Saturday is emerging from the shadow of its siblings, Black Friday and Cyber Monday, with good reason. Unlike Black Friday, there’s no queuing up in the pre-dawn hours in front of some big box store and fighting the crowds to find the best bargains until your aching feet say ENOUGH! There’s no need to scour countless websites on Cyber Monday for the latest “trending” gifts, hoping the stuff you ordered truly is “as advertised,” arrives before the holidays, and no one hacks into your online accounts. And neither of these efforts fatten the coffers of local city general funds. Small Business Saturday offers a welcome alternative. On November 26th, head into downtown Gilroy or Morgan Hill with family or friends. Don’t forget your holiday gift giving and party planning lists. Local merchants want to know how to serve you well and win your loyalty. On top of that, when you shift a percentage of your spending from online and national businesses, you boost the flow of dollars circulating in our local economy. Shopping within the City of Morgan Hill and the City of Gilroy benefits our region through the sales tax it generates for each City’s General Fund. According to John Lang in the City of Morgan Hill’s Economic Development Department, “For every $100 of (taxable) purchases the City receives $1 into the General Fund to pay for parks, road repairs and other services. 26 GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016