Bozeman's Christmas Stroll is just around the corner and Country Bookshelf is just one of the local businesses that is excited for what this holiday season has in store.
“Oh my gosh, Bozeman is such a great place—it has a lot of things that are made locally, which is really cool,” says Bozeman local Elizabeth Loftis.
Loftis has lived in town for two-and-a-half years. She loves to shop locally and can't wait to see what downtown businesses have in store for the Christmas Stroll.
“I'm going to some art openings, and that'll be exciting," says Loftis. "Santa, I guess, is coming but I'm sort of beyond that age right now. I guess there's gonna be cool food trucks and things.”
Country Bookshelf has been in business for more than 65 years. Community Relations Manager Jessica Hahl has been working at the bookstore for six years and says shopping locally stays in the community.
“We, as a bookstore fall under the umbrella of a really wonderful trade organization called the American Booksellers Association," says Hahl. "I think it's like 23.9% revenue generated at an independent bookstore stays in our community.”
She says with major online competitors, only about 5% of that money exists in the community. Country Bookshelf donated $10,000 to 34 different local nonprofits last year, and by supporting local, you're supporting so much more within the community.
“One of the things that I think is super important about shopping local is you're employing your neighbors,” says Hahl.
Hahl says holidays generate 30% to 40% of the store's yearly revenue, and she is just as excited for the Christmas Stroll as other community members.
“We've had the Gallatin Valley Land Trust out front and then we jam-pack the store with a lot of festive spirit,” says Hahl.
Loftis loves local businesses but definitely has a special place in her heart for Country Bookshelf.
“This bookshop is, it's just amazing and they find anything for you and we need to support them because if we don't, they might disappear. And that would be very sad,” says Loftis.