Small businesses have been the backbone of this country for years, and they continue to be a major part of the economy and our daily lives. Local businesses have been the ones to sponsor Little Leagues, donate food for Friday Night Football games, and have employed your next-door neighbor. Your purchase from local businesses stimulate the local economy, which is why it is more important now than ever to shop at your mom-and-pop gift shop this year as small businesses have taken a hit due to COVID-19.
This holiday season you can shop a variety of ways: in store, using a company’s site, Etsy, or even Facebook. Small businesses have made it more convenient for their customers to purchase through different channels, not only to keep up with modern day shopping but also to be readily available for their customers.
How to shop
What’s great about shopping is that there is not just one way to do it! You can do it online through a variety of channels or by going the traditional route by shopping at the brick-and-mortar stores. Furthermore, small businesses have made it even easier over the years to shop as you can not only visit their store but also shop on their website!
Although times are different this year, shopping in person is still a viable option for many! By visiting in person, you can get a better sense of what the company offers while also giving the company foot traffic.
Most businesses have a website; if not, they are likely using a Facebook page for their business. Either way, local businesses use some type of platform to sell their services or goods. You can always visit their site and see what they are selling!
This is Etsy’s 15th year as an e-commerce site, which was built to be a home for artists, entrepreneurs, and designers to sell their goods. There are over two million sellers on the site currently, and the membership continues to grow every day! You can search any item you are looking for, whether that be home good items, blankets, and even food! What is great about Etsy is that many of the items can be personalized to your style or taste. The creators on Etsy strive for customer satisfaction, which is a tactic they use to gain customer loyalty!
Facebook has recently become a platform where people can sell items, Marketplace being the place where you can search for products. Marketplace can set your location, so you know where the item is located! Some of these items are used, but there are plenty of items that are new!
Ways to support this season
With the number of small businesses in the country, and likely even your hometown, there is a small business that can fit all your needs, whether that be to get a haircut, grocery shopping (which can be done through farmer’s markets and local grocery stores), and retail therapy. Small businesses have everything you need; they just need your business!
Eat and drink locally
Instead of your normal Dunkin’ or Starbucks routine, stop at a local coffee shop. Chances are your coffee is going to taste great, and your money is going to a good place.
Buy a gift card
If you aren’t quite ready to go out to eat yet, buy a gift card from a restaurant that you know you’ll go to. The money from the gift card purchase immediately helps a local business, and you’ll have an excuse to have a date night!
Share posts on social media
This is a free way to support a local business. By sharing a company’s new products or a photo of a cappuccino, this spreads awareness of what the business offers. Who knows: maybe a friend on your Facebook is looking for a new coffee shop to visit, and your share could give potential customers to the business!
Shopping locally this season, and all year round, helps communities thrive and small businesses prosper. Next time you go shopping, think about where you want to put your money this year. It’s important to know that all sales to small businesses matter as your money isn’t just paying fixed costs for the company. Your money is paying for ballet lessons or a new mixer for a business. Without local businesses, our communities wouldn’t be as colorful, there wouldn’t be the charm of downtown businesses, and the meaning of community wouldn’t be the same.
Shop local, shop smart, and shop safe this holiday season.
The SRCU Family