Holiday Shoppers Stay Local

November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM EDT

By WKBW News
By Jaclyn Asztalos

November 21, 2012 Updated Nov 21, 2012 at 1:36 PM EDT

Buffalo, N.Y. (WKBW) - Gercio and Sons, Sweetness 7 café and West Side Stories books are just three local businesses thriving with the help of groups like Buffalo First.

"Give Local A Chance is a campaign where we teach people the difference between shopping in corporate America and in their community and the economic impact that has. We also give people alternatives to shop local during the holidays," Executive Director of Buffalo First Sarah Bishop said.

The group is unveiling a mural, which will hang above the café reminding people about their "shop local" message. West Side Stories Owner Joe Petri says there are many hidden gems in the City of Buffalo.

"We're so excited the transformation were seeing in Grant Street and there are more and more businesses popping up and more and more people starting to realize that investing in their local community can have an impact," Petri said.

It's not only Grant Street that's starting to come around. Bishop said the Elmwood Village is a prime example of what they are trying to accomplish.

"There are 140 small locally owned businesses in the Elmwood Village and it's a pride point for Buffalo. We built it ourselves without any corporate investment," Bishop said.

Bishop said this local thinking will help grown not just the City of Buffalo but the entire Western New York area.

"Local isn't a trend. It's a powerful economic tool. A study from Civic Economic shows that upward of four times the amount of money stays in our economy when we shop local," Bishop said.

Petri agrees.

"Local business is the foundation of our community and looking local first is putting yourself first because you are a part of Buffalo or the surrounding Western New York area," Petri said.