The 2020 holiday season will certainly look different than other seasons’ past.  Our country has been hit hard by the pandemic, with no American left unaffected in some way.  As we enter into an uncertain winter, please consider supporting the local small businesses in your area and your favorite American manufacturers, if you are financially able.  In their article “Why Buy America is Critical to Helping the U.S. Recover Post-Coronavirus,” the Alliance for American Manufacturing states “One of the long-term lessons from the coronavirus crisis must be to reshore much of our critical manufacturing, and support the American manufacturers already doing [the] work here.”  As polarizing as times have been, it’s critical to remember that we are all experiencing crisis, and with our sustained and united efforts, we can heal and re-grow from it together. 

Photo Credit: Lewiston Sun Journal

With most holiday shopping moving entirely online this year, it’s more important than ever to intentionally seek out small businesses and American-made goods in the noise of cyber space.  American-made products are often a little more expensive, which we understand could be more difficult to back in these times of financial hardship.  However, there are many reasons why spending a little extra on local products goes a long way to help us as a country, and you as a consumer.  We hope you enjoy and are inspired by our list of reasons to buy American made products this holiday season.

By buying American-made gifts, your dollar is:

1| …putting money back into the local economies.

According to the National Association of Manufacturers, for every $1.00 spent on manufacturing, $2.74 is added back into our economy.  Furthermore, every person working in manufacturing is creating 5 jobs in other industries - that means that an American manufacturer's impact on the economy spreads far beyond their own value chain.  

Read more of NAM's manufacturing facts here.

2| ...bolstering the middle class and working people.

The Alliance for American Manufacturing notes,

"For years, the U.S. economy has relied on cheap imports, as many corporations opted to shift production overseas...but all that offshoring led to tens of thousands of factory closures and millions of lost jobs."

A 2018 article from the Pew Research center illustrates that America's middle class is stable in size, but the income gap between it and upper-income households continues to widen. In 2018, the Pew Research Center estimates that 52% of American adults were middle class, 29% lower class, and only 19% upper class.  By purchasing American made, you are helping to support middle and lower income workers (according to the 2018 data, that's 81% of us!) and their families.  

3| ...helping in the effort to re-grow and sustain America's supply chain.

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us how critical it is for a country to be able to manufacture things quickly and independently.  In their article, the Alliance for American Manufacturing points out that "the economic devastation [of moving production overseas] has been covered extensively, of course.  What has gone largely unnoticed is the impact offshoring had on America’s critical supply chain, and its ability to make the things it needs in a crisis."  As a consumer, you can help encourage reliance on our own supply chains by putting money directly in the hands of manufacturers who have the same goal.

4| ...getting high-quality products that last.

Made in America products are known for their quality.  By maintaining complete control of their product, American manufacturers know what goes into every step of production.  They can ensure the use of hand-picked materials, maintain safe working conditions, and creatively solve problems that may arise along the way.  When production moves overseas, companies are sadly removed from the creation of their own goods.  When buying American made, you can be assured that you are getting a product that has been considered each step of the way.  In addition, high quality items made in the U.S.A last longer, and which saves money in the long run.

5| ...supporting companies who care about fair labor practices and the environment.

American manufacturers adhere to strict laws that keep their employees healthy and safe.  This is not always the case elsewhere.  The Unites States also has rigid environmental protection laws that manufacturers must abide by (you can learn more about regulations in American manufacturing industries here).  Buying from American manufacturers who are operating under these laws is a much more sustainable and humane choice than having your dollars go towards companies who may not comply to similar practices.

We are in unprecedented times, and it's more important now than ever to show your love and support to friends, family, and fellow Americans.  The holidays may feel different this year, but the spirit can be stronger than ever.  We hope our list might inspire you to seek out local businesses when purchasing gifts for you loved ones.  Your dollar will be allowing another American family to do the same!

November 13, 2020 — Adrienne Beacham

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