Support your neighbors by shopping local | Jobs Reply

Christmas trees in Town Square Park

The holidays are here, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by supporting local businesses, which provide the gift that keeps on giving. While online retailers offer luxury and, often, value-driven gifts, those dollars spent leave the state and provide no benefits to Alaskans.

Alaskan-owned businesses keep our dollars local and provide jobs for Alaskans. Additionally, these businesses may support a local softball league or youth soccer or local non-profit organizations.

Local businesses come in all shapes and sizes, whether they are longtime Anchorage institutions that have been part of our community for decades or recent entrepreneurs who have just opened their businesses with the help of the Anchorage Community Land Trust’s Set Up Shop Program or Alaska. Small Business Development Center.

Local businesses make Anchorage unique and give it a certain vibe and flavor. Shopping local builds and creates community and allows you to connect with business owners.

Need tools to keep you warm or keep you active? Downtown has 6th Avenue Outfitters Co-Op and Big Rays has everything from socks, mittens, and hats to keep you comfortable from your feet to your head! For your loved one who works year-round, be sure to show up on these dark days with light and bright gear from Skinny Raven. For someone who likes to exercise in winter, you can buy yoga classes at Burn & Bloom or Namaste North.

For that special someone who loves a unique piece check out Sevigny Art Gallery, Stephen’s Fine Arts, Tiny Gallery, or Romney Designs. These stores give one the opportunity to support a locally owned business and a local artist. They include everything from jewelry, coffee mugs, and original paintings.

The long dark hours call for lots of coffee! Nothing says I love you like a caffeine boost. Our local coffee shops offer great gift opportunities from coffee cards, freshly roasted beans, travel mugs or other great swag! These gifts keep our loved ones awake and support the wonderful businesses that get up early to make our mornings extra special.

Do you have a loved one with a sweet tooth? Mountain View’s Sweet Creations Lollipop Boutique offers sweet and savory treats. Do you want to give a unique and sweet gift? Eva’s Cupcakery makes custom orders to create that special treat.

For the trendsetter, fashion-forward woman in your world, look no further than the city! Just a few short blocks away, there are five major women-owned businesses. Weather Boutique offers a collection of selected pieces from honest and conscious designers, with high quality and slow fashion as a goal. Blush Boutique has a full selection of denim, high quality bags, accessories, and fun candles – if you need help, they have an all-star sales team ready to help! Second Run offers designer fashion to the value-driven consumer with new merchandise every day! Circle offers a carefully curated selection of clothing, jewelry, home

decorative, and gift products. Boutique Boutique specializes in affordable fashion, denim, shoes, accessories, and select home furnishings.

If your special someone is a hipster with a green thumb, you can find all the millennial houseplants they could desire at That Feeling Co., located inside K Street Market, near Fire Island Bakery, La Bodega, and Johnny’s Produce.

Do you feel overwhelmed by all the “stuff” in your life? Can we recommend the gift of “knowledge”? For the art lover in your life, a membership to the Anchorage Museum or the International Gallery of Contemporary Art. For that special someone who loves music, stop by the Anchorage Opera, Anchorage Symphony, or upcoming shows from the Anchorage Concert Association. Need inspiration? Check out the Alaska Center for the Performing Arts program!

Another great opportunity to “experience” is a gift certificate to a favorite restaurant. Downtown Anchorage has two culinary hot spots: Whiskey and Ramen on 4th Avenue, and Palmiera on Barrow Street. However, from West Berlin to Snow City Cafe, 49th State Brewing Company to Humpy’s Great Alaska Alehouse and Ginger, Hula Hands, Crush, Waffles and Whatnot, Spinz, and Uncle Joe’s Pizza, there are endless opportunities to give someone a “night off. ” in cooking.

When you shop local and spend your money at Anchorage businesses, 40 to 60 cents of every dollar stays in our community and circulates again. It supports our friends, family, and neighbors. But most importantly, it keeps these businesses alive in our community, and makes our community lovable and diverse. Shop locally this holiday season and year round. Our community and local businesses deserve it!

Daniel Volland is a licensed optometric doctor, small business owner, vice president of the South Addition Community Council, and a member of the Anchorage Chamber of Commerce Legislative Committee.

Christopher Constant is the vice-chairman of the Anchorage Assembly.

The opinions expressed here are those of the author and are not confirmed by the Anchorage Daily News, which welcomes a variety of opinions. To submit a piece for consideration, email commentary(at) Submit posts that are shorter than 200 words or click here to submit via any web browser. Read our complete book guides and reviews here.

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