Shop Small Saturday is this weekend and this year as we move towards the holiday season, shopping local is more important than ever before. I believe that shopping small is important all of the time because it helps to support and shape our communities however it is important to mention that there is a really good reason why there is a push to shop small right now. It is not because big businesses have always promoted Black Friday as the start of the holiday shopping season. In reality, small businesses have relied on the holiday season to support their businesses, according to American Express the average small business gets 29% off their annual sales during the Christmas shopping season. It is obvious then that we as consumers play a key role in helping small businesses in our communities thrive. Recent data suggests that if every US family spent just $10 a month at a local business, then over $9.3 billion dollars would directly funnel back into the economy. When you put it like that seems like we become apart of something bigger than ourselves when we shop small.
Over the last several months much of the narrative we have been hearing has been to either choose health and safety or economic well-being. I am no economics expert by any means but I would argue that these two things do not have to be mutually exclusive. Since COVID has caused many restrictions, businesses everywhere have learned safe ways to make it possible for you to shop and take advantage of local services. Many have demonstrated creativity on how to continue to serve their clients while still taking all steps to ensure the highest level of care for their client's health and safety. Things like curbside pickup, no contact delivery, and more.
We must do our part to keep our economic motors running. It is up to us to get out there and take advantage of these creative solutions and of course, take measures to protect ourselves as well. Just in case we did not all learn from past scenarios, like our recovery from the 2008 recession, small businesses can provide the fuel our local economies need to bounce back from this. By shopping, locally more of the money you spend goes right back into your very own community. Supporting other businesses in your community, the families that run them, your cities public services, and helps support local jobs. I love Amazon as much as the next person but I can’t say that their impact on my hometown would be that significant.
Who doesn’t love being able to give two gifts for the price of one? Well by shopping locally for your holiday gifts you are giving twice, first to the person receiving the gift and second to your hometown.
Supporting small businesses starts with spending money, without a doubt however there are a number of other ways that you can help your local small businesses.
Including following and reacting to their posts on social media, using their branded hashtag on your own posts, leaving positive reviews, and simply spreading the word to family and friends.
So even if you, like so many others, are not in a financial situation to be eating out or shopping for any gifts right now, you too can make a difference in a small business's success.