San Antonio's Buy Local Season emphasizes local, independent businesses

Shoppers browse items offered by a local vendor at the Esperanza Center’s 2019 Peace Market. San Antonio City Council has designated Nov. 27 to Dec. 31 as Buy Local Season as part of a city-sponsored campaign to emphasize benefits of shopping local, especially during the holiday season. (Courtesy Esperanza Center)
Shoppers browse items offered by a local vendor at the Esperanza Center’s 2019 Peace Market. San Antonio City Council has designated Nov. 27 to Dec. 31 as Buy Local Season as part of a city-sponsored campaign to emphasize benefits of shopping local, especially during the holiday season. (Courtesy Esperanza Center)

Shoppers browse items offered by a local vendor at the Esperanza Center’s 2019 Peace Market. San Antonio City Council has designated Nov. 27 to Dec. 31 as Buy Local Season as part of a city-sponsored campaign to emphasize benefits of shopping local, especially during the holiday season. (Courtesy Esperanza Center)

Nov. 27 through Dec. 31 is designated Buy Local Season in San Antonio, following action by City Council.

The council on Nov. 18 presented a proclamation formally designating the timeframe for Buy Local Season, and they also designated Nov. 27 as Small Business Saturday as a means to coincide with the launch of the San Antonio Economic Development Department’s "Shift to Buy Local" campaign.

The campaign aims to bring greater awareness about the benefits of buying locally and its effect on the economy, according to a news release.

"Shifting just 10% of household spending to local, independent businesses keeps a larger share of dollars in our region, stimulates a multiplier effect and creates new jobs,” Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in the release. "Small business owners and their staff have been at the forefront of the COVID-19 pandemic to keep services available to residents in a safe way. We recognize them for the hard work and sacrifice that they have endured and will continue to offer them support in a variety of ways.”

City officials said in the release that choosing local retailers, restaurants and other service providers circulates $68 back into the economy for every $100 spent. City officials added that local, independent businesses on average donate two-and-a-half times more per employee to local charities.



“Our small business community needs support year-round, especially as so many continue to be faced with the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic,” SAEDD Director Brenda Hicks-Sorensen said in the release. “I believe that a buy local strategy should be an ongoing effort to help shift the local culture in the direction of buying local. The launch of our ‘Shift to Buy Local' campaign is focused on the holidays, but our strategic efforts to support small businesses will be ongoing.”

City officials have been promoting several scheduled holiday markets with local vendors and artisans, including the following.

Now through Jan. 9: Red Dot Art Sale and Show at Blue Star Contemporary

Art works from more than 100 local artists are being displayed in person and virtually with proceeds going to Blue Star Contemporary and the artists. Times vary. Free (admission). 116 Blue Star St., San Antonio. 210-227-6960 www.bluestarcontemporary.org

Nov. 26 and 27: Peace Market/Mercadito de Paz at Esperanza Peace and Justice Center

The traditional open-air market includes many international vendors with handcrafted gifts that celebrate themes of peace, justice, diversity, and cultural and environmental preservation. There will also be refreshments and music. Masks are required for shopping inside the community center. Free parking is available at the nearby San Antonio College garage at San Pedro Avenue and Myrtle Street, and at Planned Parenthood on San Pedro and Laurel Street. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. both days. The same vendors will have their items on sale for virtual shopping and in-store pickup until Dec. 22. Free (admission). 922 San Pedro Ave., San Antonio. 210-228-0201. https://esperanzacenter.org

Nov. 27: Holiday Art Market at the Tobin Center for Performing Arts

Shop for unique gift items and gourmet food along the Will Naylor Smith River Walk Plaza. Bring an unwrapped gift for the Tobin Center’s holiday toy drive and get a voucher for free parking. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Free (admission). 100 Auditorium Circle, San Antonio. 210-223-8624 www.tobincenter.org

Nov. 27 and 28: Market Square on Commerce Street

Market Square will have dozens of vendors and artisans offering a variety of items and food. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sat.), 10 a.m.-5 p.m. (Sun.). Free (admission). 514 W. Commerce St., San Antonio. www.facebook.com/marketsquaresa

Nov. 27 and 28: Play in the Plaza at La Villita

This event provides an opportunity to do holiday shopping, enjoy a meal and take part in fun activities in La Villita's Plaza Nacional. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (Sat.), 11 a.m.-4 p.m. (Sun). Free (admission). 418 Villita St., San Antonio. www.facebook.com/events/282707696883599

Dec. 11: Dellview Music’s Holiday Market

This event features more than 15 local vendors and artisans offering vintage wares, vinyl records, food and more. There will also be live music. noon-5 p.m. Free (admission). 122 Latch Drive, San Antonio. 210-320-1052. www.dellviewmusic.com

Dec. 11: Museum Market at the San Antonio Museum of Art

SAMA is partnering with Southtown Market Co. to present a marketplace of unique finds from local artists, makers, culinary artisans and more in the museum’s sculpture garden. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free (admission). 200 E. Jones Ave., San Antonio. 210-978-8100. www.samuseum.org

Dec. 11: SoFlo Holiday Market

This event has several markets and artists offering unique holiday gift items, apparel, accessories and food. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Free (admission). 1344 S. Flores St., San Antonio. 210-379-4638 www.facebook.com/SoFloMarket

As a part of the "Shift to Buy Local" campaign, a resource guide is underway and will serve both business owners and consumers. For more information, visit www.sanantonio.gov/buylocalsa.

Concurrent efforts include The Buy Local Grow SA initiative, which launched in the spring of 2020 and is presented by the city in partnership with the Maestro Entrepreneur Center. The program supports local business owners by offering resources, including a small business directory that can be found at www.maestrocenter.org/buy-local-grow-sa-overview/.

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