Ventura County's Support-Local Program

Let’s Call It “Green Friday”

As this holiday shopping season opens, let’s start a new locally-based tradition: how about calling it “Green Friday” and “Shop Local Saturday.


Black Friday, Cyber Monday. Getting caught in the hype.

Before the 1800s, the emphasis on the holiday season was not about spending money but about spending time celebrating with friends and family. It wasn’t until about 1850 that major retailers like Macy’s started pushing the commercialism of Christmas and presents, even inviting Santa Claus to appear in their stores. Many retailers saw a way to increase sales and BAM!, holiday commercialism was born.

Over the years, holiday commercialism has, of course, gotten huge. Today we have those big box staples “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday.” And just recently, American Express, a multi-national corporation, started “Small Business Saturday,” asking you to use their credit card under the guise of shopping local. With all of this shopping hype, we continue to pull dollars not only away from small businesses, but also our local economy.

Let’s start a new local tradition

So as this holiday shopping season opens, we think that we should start a new locally-based tradition: how about calling it “Green Friday” and “Shop Local Saturday.” It really is the best time of year to shop at your favorite local, independent businesses.

Local independent businesses are the backbone of our community, spurring local economic growth, creating jobs, and giving back to local organizations and to our community. Here are some fun facts: for every $100 spent in a local retail business, an average of $68 returns to the local economy versus $43 if that money is spent with a big box or chain store. And just a 10% shift in spending to independent businesses can result in an average of 1,600 new jobs, $53 million in wages, and $137 million of economic impact to the area. Doing some holiday food shopping?  Well a 10% shift in food spending could redirect $186 million each year to countywide farmers and ranchers.

He’s making a list… checking it twice… he’s hoping you’re Supporting Local  because that would be really, really nice!

Join me on Green Friday!

So when you make your holiday shopping list, why not give the gift that gives back to your community. Look for the Totally Local VCShop Local for the Holidays” signs in local store windows. And check out our Directory listings here on – it features lots of great local businesses.

Think Local – Support Local – Shop Local. It really is a wonderful gift to our community. Help us spread the word.


Image credits:Robert LeMaire

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Learn more about author Kat Merrick

Kat Merrick

About the author

Kat Merrick made her mark in the apparel world as an innovative leader and founder of Surf Chick Inc. With over 25 years of extensive experience managing worldwide capacity apparel facilities, companies and product, her superior leadership skills, practiced in directing cross-functional global teams to design, brand, source develop and marketing, won her world-wide recognition and awards. She is considered an expert in the areas of trend studies, brand building and marketing. At 23 years old she opened her first successful retail business in Ventura County, Since then, Kat has owned and operated several very successful retail and wholesale operations and assisted numerous multi-category small businesses to achieve success. Highly respected by many local small business owners, growers, artists and locals, she has been tagged as "the Shop Local girl". Kat's extensive travels, strong business knowledge and desire to make a positive impact locally helped inspire her to create Totally Local VC. A Ventura County resident since 1978, single mother of two and long-standing advocate for support of local small business and all that is Ventura, founder and developer of Totally Local VC, Kat brings her passion for our community to all she does. Her writings, posts and blog reflect her love of family, friends and community and desire to help.


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