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December 17, 2013 > Letter to the Editor: Shop Local and Support Small Businesses

Letter to the Editor: Shop Local and Support Small Businesses

Now that CaliforniaÕs economy has begun to improve, many local residentsÑmyself includedÑhave been shopping for the Ôperfect giftÕ for our family, friends and loved ones during this yearÕs holiday season.

Though many people prefer to shop online or at big box corporate retailers, I urge local residents to seriously consider supporting small businesses, particularly those in local communities.

According to the GovernorÕs Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz), ÒCaliforniaÕs 3.4 million small businesses account for 99 percent of the stateÕs employers and employ 52 percent of the workforce.Ó Clearly, small businessesÑincluding a significant number of Ômom and popÕ stores in our local communitiesÑprovide much of the economic engine for our state. It is critical that local residents help these small businesses thrive by making a strong effort to support local merchants that will further reinvigorate local economies and create jobs.

I have been committed to helping small businesses succeed throughout my career, particularly since serving as an East Bay mayor in the mid 1990Õs through today. Earlier this year, I authored, the Legislature passed and Governor Jerry Brown signed important legislation that will help California small businesses market and promote their high quality products within the state and throughout the world. SB 12, which will take effect on January 1, creates the ÒMade in CaliforniaÓ label program that allows consumers to more easily identify California produced goods.

This unique program will help spur the California economy by enabling shoppers to buy local and in-state products. During these times of economic recovery, I know that shoppers are looking for opportunities to buy local goods made by local businesses. Thanks to the passage of SB 12, consumers will be able to buy ÒMade in CaliforniaÓ products and know with certainty that those goods were made within the state or even locally.

So before you finish your holiday shopping, I hope that you will consider shopping local so that our communities and businesses will continue to prosper in the months and years ahead.

Senate Majority Leader Ellen M. Corbett (DÑEast Bay)
10th State Senate District

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