‘Independents Week’ encourages Utahns to declare independence, buy local

SALT LAKE CITY – Local business owners are making a push to buy local. They’ve teamed up with mayors from across the Wasatch Front to kick off “Independents Week” in Utah.

Governor Herbert declared the week-long celebration to take place from July 1-7.

“Independents Week is really about celebrating the American dream,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

City Creek Harmons served as the backdrop for the launch. It’s one of many independently owned businesses in Utah. The grocery store has been around for 85 years and has provided thousands of local products to the community.

“It's just great to have a celebration of an independence and buy independence,” said Bob Harmon, Harmon’s VP for the customer.

The community keeps this machine going. That’s why organizers are calling on people to declare their independence and support independent businesses.

“We're not saying buy local only: What we are saying is to buy local first, to consider the local products that you're already spending your money on,” said Kristen Lavelett, executive director of Local First Utah.

Lavelett says when you buy local, 55 cents out of every dollar stays in Utah.

“When you shop online or with a chain counterpart, only 13 cents of your dollars stays in our economy,” Biskupski said.

Organizers say independent businesses create jobs.

“This means a lot to the city of Orem,” said Orem City Mayor Richard Brunst. “We have a lot of local businesses. Eighty percent of the jobs actually come from small businesses, local businesses.”

Supporting locally owned businesses also preserves our economic independence.

“Small businesses create such huge economic impacts. They create your neighborhoods, your safe communities. They provide places to meet, to eat together. That is what small business is about,” said Sheridan Mordue, owner of Hip & Humble 9th & 9th.

For a list of independent businesses provided by Local First Utah, click here.