Want to help KC become the city it wants to be? Shop local

What kind of city do you want to live in?

You’re about to make important choices on that topic, and in ways you might not realize. In the coming days, the future of Kansas City is going to be shaped by decisions that echo for a generation. And not just at the ballot box (though also at the ballot box—so please vote).

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has gutted segments of our economy, leaving many of our neighbors jobless and hurting. But while this complex mess involves a lot of things we can’t control, there’s one thing you can do that will make an immediate impact.

Shop local.You may have seen these stats before, but they’re worth repeating: For every dollar you spend with a locally owned business, sixty-eight cents stays right here in KC. But when you give a buck to a national chain, just forty-three cents stays here and the rest goes somewhere else.

The holiday shopping season is about to begin, and you have some important choices to make, beyond whether you want to give mom earrings or a cardigan. If you make the effort to shop locally, you’re putting Christmas dinner on the table for a local family. When you order on Amazon, you’re helping build a spaceship to send Jeff Bezos to Mars.

This month, we’re doing our part to help with a guide to Decision 2020some of the city’s best shops. I’ll be the first to admit I’m too often lured by the ease of online shopping, but after spending some time with the cover package on eighty-eight great local shops compiled by our associate editor, Nicole Bradley, I’m excited about doing my holiday shopping locally wherever possible. Over the past two months, our writers have scoured the city for unique local shops and turned up new gems including a super chic Black-owned clothing shop in Independence (page 63) and, in the Crossroads, a studio making hand-stitched handbags (page 58) and an urban jungle with plants imported from around the world (page 60).

Flip through that feature and you’re likely to be amazing at just how blessed this city is when it comes to cute little shops run by passionate shopkeepers working hard to curate welcom-ing spaces stocked with quality wares. Every time you go the extra mile to spend your money locally instead of online, you’re helping make this city just a little more interesting and prosperous. That’s a gift we’ve all got to chip in to buy.

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