Let’s face it, it was just July, which was full of summer picnics. All of a sudden, it’s November with preparation underway for the holiday season. Fast forward to the not-so-distant future where everyone will be knee deep in holiday catalogs, emails, and reminders to shop early or else be left empty handed. When it comes to giving gifts to customers and business associates, what better way to celebrate National Entrepreneurship Month than by shopping locally! Here are some of the compelling reasons and ways to support local entrepreneurs this holiday shopping season.
Reasons to Support Small Businesses
Stimulate Local Economies
When someone shops locally they are cycling money back into their community. While large chain stores might seem like they have better deals or give one the ability to find anything they’re looking for, tax revenue that is made through the sales tax collected from local businesses are used to support the local governments, who in turn reinvest in the local community.
Reduce the Carbon Footprint
The first reason for one’s carbon footprint that usually comes to most peoples’ minds is transportation. What seems better for the environment? Driving an hour to a large shopping center or driving ten minutes into town to walk down the sidewalks to look in the large store windows of the small businesses. Less transportation means less pollution, less congestion, and less impact on the environment.
Give Back to the Local Community
Small business owners tend to be more involved in the community; they also tend to donate more than large businesses to local nonprofits, community causes, and events. This in turn creates a positive cycle of giving back locally.
Better Customer Service
Small businesses thrive off the small things. Purchases, deals, and reviews can help to make or break them. An added benefit of this is that a real person normally answers the phone to answer customer questions and not a robot that makes one spend five minutes saying “speak with agent” over and over.
Support the American Dream
By now, this should be a no brainer. The “American Dream” is a theory where equality of opportunity should be made available to all Americans. It allows them to achieve their highest aspirations and goals. Small Businesses are prime examples of those individuals making this theory a reality.
Handcrafted Original Products
Most people did not want to be twins with their friends and siblings growing up, or even now, by owning the exact same items. People would rather be one of a kind and have all their friends asking where they got something because they have never seen anything like it before. Small businesses are a great place to find unique and original items.
How To Support Small Businesses
- Visit a local farmers market (or any farmers market)
- They are full of homemade and homegrown items.
- Buy and gift local artwork and décor
- Some cities have first Friday events and art walks where local artists have their artwork on display for sale.
- Order takeout and delivery
- Restaurants were hit hard during the pandemic and some that used to be open for dining in, now only have takeout as an option.
- Take a class or watch a live stream
- Lots of local areas offer cooking classes, exercise classes, yoga classes, and some hardware stores have a do-it-yourself workshop.
- Tag a local business on social media
- Tik Tok, Facebook Reels, and Instagram are the new conversation starters. By sharing on these social media platforms, a small business gets exposure to a new audience, which could possibly end up being thousands of people.
- Leave a positive review
- Reviews can be daunting, and one might not know what to say, but even just leaving five stars and no comments is better than not leaving a review at all.
- Hire small businesses
- Need some work done around the house but not sure who to call? Call a local handyman. I recently had my floors redone at my house; instead of going with a large chain business, we went with a local flooring shop a mile down the road. They were kind, accommodating, and did an amazing job.
Why not help the little guys this giving season? Support local entrepreneurs, find a new favorite shop, and maybe make a new friend. That’s what the holiday season is all about, right?
For specific questions or additional information, please contact Alonia Johnston. If you would like to talk to one of our professionals on any other business-related topic, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Advisory and Business Consulting team.