Take caution and check for road closures due to wildfires in the North Cascades.
June 26, 2020

Amy Vergillo, Communications Manager
Sustainable Connections j
(360) 647-7093 x 105

Think Local First in Whatcom County with Rock Hunt for Independents Month in July

Every July, Sustainable Connections joins together with local alliances, organizations, and partners to celebrate Independents Month, a month-long celebration of independent businesses throughout Whatcom County and the value, economic growth, and spirit they bring to our community.

Local businesses are one of the biggest generators of wealth in the community — each dollar spent at an independent business returns three times more money to the local economy compared to one spent at a chain. Local businesses also tend to give twice as much to community causes and nonprofits, and when compared to online conglomerates, they create two times as many jobs for the same amount of revenue. Towns that have more local businesses also experience more social cohesion and less income inequality. In addition, the shorter transit routes and bulk ordering that bring goods to the consumer via local businesses also mean less packaging and mileage, minimizing waste and carbon emissions, and creating less
air and noise pollution.

“For all these reasons and more, we invite the community to shop at the vast array of wonderfully unique retailers, restaurants, and businesses in Whatcom County, and commit to shopping local this month,” says Amy Vergillo, Sustainable Connections Communications Manager, “by shopping local you’re supporting the vitality and quality of life in our community.”

For the second year, Independents Month will include a Think Local First Rock Hunt with prizes starting Wednesday, July 1. An abundance of red, navy, and light blue rocks have been hidden at parks throughout Whatcom County. Attached to each rock are simple instructions for winning a $20 gift card to a local business — just post a photo of the found rock on social media with the hashtag #thinklocalrocks.

Independent businesses have felt the effects of the COVID-19 crisis and have heard the call for social justice in our community, just as we all have. Local businesses are taking care of their employees, sharing their resources, creating new solutions and partnerships, and standing up in solidarity for the lives of our neighbors. Independents Month is an opportunity for us to show our support for independent businesses, and invest back into our community.

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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