Holiday shopping season is upon us. Many of us have already started, or have at least begun thinking about “the perfect gift” for each of the special people in our lives.
Online shopping has exploded this year with large chain stores and Amazon becoming the primary go-to’s for click-to-purchase convenience. In fact, while many businesses are struggling to survive, Amazon is projected to emerge from the Coronavirus pandemic stronger than ever.
Shopping local has always been important, but there’s never been a more critical time to turn to small businesses for our holiday gifting needs. Here’s why you should be shopping local (in-person or online) this holiday season:
SMALL BUSINESSES MAKE MAJOR IMPACT
Shopping small business is BIG for our community. When we buy local, that money stays local.
Small businesses and entrepreneurship fuel our economy, resulting in essential growth. Did you know: small businesses have created over 66% of all new jobs since 1995? The more we shop at a local store, the more potential job opportunities we could help them provide. It’s also estimated that when we buy from independent, locally-owned businesses, more than 65% of our money will stay right here, in our own community.
When you buy from a small business, often you’re supporting a family. You’re the reason a family is able to put food on their table, pay their mortgage, or send children to college. You’re supporting individuals with a high level of ethics, who treat their employees like family.
Small businesses also tend to be more involved in the local community. Besides providing us with the goods or services we purchase, small businesses give back. The money we spend with local businesses indirectly puts money into community events, sports teams, and fundraisers that are often sponsored by these businesses. Likewise, business owners are often heavily involved in the community serving on boards and committees and volunteering time to projects and improvements that benefit us all.
UNIQUE ITEMS & PERSONALIZED SERVICES
Sure, you can find nice gifts at the big box stores, but you certainly won’t find any one-of-a-kind treasures. Many local retailers pride themselves on offering unique, specialty items. Small businesses can offer a more enjoyable shopping experience that allows time for more thoughtful browsing and exploring. You may also be surprised at the exceptional level of personalized customer service you’ll receive.
Small business owners (and their staff) often have more knowledge of the products and services they’re selling. Many small business owners fill every role within their business, including customer service. To them, every customer truly matters.
PRESERVE COMMUNITY CHARM
The character of our local community is often defined by our small businesses. When we support small businesses, we’re helping to protect our town’s unique charm and keep the local market both flourishing and diverse. Without our support, we risk losing them. Without our small businesses, we risk losing our community’s vibrancy.
ALL THE FEELS
In addition to the warm-and-fuzzy feeling that comes with scoring a great gift for someone special, it’s incredibly satisfying to know your purchase made a positive impact.
As you set out to battle the holiday shopping crowds (don’t forget your mask) and land online deals, consider supporting independent local retailers, artisans, eateries, and e-commerce stores this year.