With the holidays just around the corner, many of us have started our holiday shopping, or at the very least we've started thinking about the gifts we want to share with the important people in our lives.
While large chain stores like Target and Walmart, and online retail giant Amazon can make the shopping process convenient and affordable, there are even more benefits to turning to small business for your holiday gifting needs this year.
From enhanced customer service to supporting your community and local economy, here’s why you should be shopping small this holiday season.
Shopping local makes a BIG difference in the community. Not only does it help provide jobs for your community (did you know that small businesses have created over 66 percent of all new jobs since 1995!), it also ensures that your hard earned dollars stay in your local economy, rather than being channeled off to corporate entities. It’s estimated that small businesses return three times as much money per dollar back to the local community than their chain counterparts.
Small businesses are also more likely to be involved in communities beyond just providing goods or services. Supporting local businesses indirectly puts money into community events, sports teams and fundraisers that are often sponsored by these businesses. Likewise, business owners often become mentors and decision-makers in the community, too, working with local governments to make improvements that benefit all. How awesome is that!
Unique Items & Services
There's no denying you can find nice holiday presents at the nearest department store, but you're not likely to find gorgeous, handmade items there. People love to receive unique gifts that can't just be purchased everywhere. Gifting a handmade, one-of-a-kind item really shows how much thought and care was given when deciding what to purchase for a loved one.
So, this year don't go for the mass-produced candles, ties or bath sets. Wow your loved ones with a truly one-of-a-kind gift from a small business.
Highly Personalized Customer Service
Let's face it, these days, good customer service can be hard to come by, and it can be especially lacking during the holidays when retail employees are stretched thin. Small businesses can offer a more enjoyable shopping experience that allows time for more thoughtful browsing and exploring. Also, small-business employees often have more knowledge of the products and services they’re selling than their counterparts at larger retailers.
Keep That Community Charm
Almost every town in the U.S. has a Walmart and a McDonald’s. But these brands do not make a community what it is.
When you support small business, you’re helping to protect your town’s unique charm and keep the local market both flourishing and diverse.
With the recent hit of COVID-19 and the affects it has had on so many small businesses, now more than ever, its important to think about how you can support small businesses this Holiday season.
As you set out to battle the holiday shopping crowds or more likely this year, go after those online deals (hello, Black Friday and Cyber Monday), consider spending a little more time to find and support independent local retailers and ecommerce stores by:
- Supporting Small Business Saturday. This annual holiday was created to #ShopSmall, and show support of local, independent businesses and call attention to the valuable contributions they make to their communities and the economy. Stop by or click to your favorite small business to support and celebrate all that they do.
- Find your local holiday markets to complete your holiday shopping list. Check local publications, listing and Facebook events to explore markets in your area.
- Treat yourself! Just because it’s the season for giving doesn’t mean that you should forget yourself. Visit locally-owned retail shops, in person or online, to browse and discover new brands that could turn out to be your new favorites.