The Saturday after Thanksgiving is known as Small Business Saturday, a day to gather together, bellies full of leftover turkey, and head out to our local shops and eateries to support the little guys. We know it’s tough to get out of bed, but here are eight reasons why you should shop small this holiday season.
1. Stronger Community
No one comes to a town to see how cool your Wal-Mart is. But they do go out of their way to find hand blown glass or small batch goat milk soaps. Not only will you find yourself checking out local shops before big box companies, but so will tourists and other out-of-towners who took a day trip to do some shopping. Downtown St. Charles didn’t start out as a booming shopping center; they did the work and supported each new endeavour people brought to those cobblestone streets.
2. Friendly Customer Service
When shopping small, you typically deal with the owner of the company directly as many small businesses don’t have the resources to hire a full staff. This means, when you have a problem, the person who has the most to lose is the one solving it. It also means the person who cares about the product or service the most gets to answer your questions, explain your purchases, and leave that great feeling of satisfaction and appreciation when you walk out the door.
3. Keep Your Tax Dollars Local
When you buy stuff on Amazon, where does that money go? Luckily, Amazon now has a huge selection of small businesses (which we’ll talk about soon), but the average item purchased is several pages into your search. When you spend money in your town, your town benefits. That family who runs the local bakery will appreciate your purchase so much more than Krispy Kreme appreciates your purchase. Why? Because your sale of a dozen donuts may help their kid pay for school clothes. Shopping local isn’t just about convenience; it’s about helping those around you.
4. Creating New Jobs
I’ll use the example of St. Charles again. My family has a lot of girls in it, and once a year we all get together to take a shopping trip to catch up, start Christmas shopping, and watch the leaves turn in the beautiful atmosphere of downtown. This historic area housed close to a 100 shops, eateries, and beverage stations last year, and they added about ten new ones in 2020. Think about what that could do for your town! Even if each of those shops only had two employees, you’re bringing new jobs, new exposure through social media, new Chamber of Commerce members, new voices.
5. Unique Offerings
This one is cool because it varies so much. I’ve been to small shops that just sell crystals blessed by shamans. I’ve been to small shops that sell every spice you could imagine. Coffee shops that double as comic book stores, breweries with homebrew supplies, candle stores where all the candles look like super realistic food. The list never ends and, though these are niche markets, people eat it up … myself included. I just had a bridal shower this weekend and I received two waffle makers. I didn’t even want one! They were purchased from big box stores with no thought or originality, and yet I received two. I also got the same card from three different people. It was cute, but come on!
6. Heavy Gen Z Support
Generation Z (those born after 1995) are entering the workforce and account for one third of the population. With an estimated buying power of $143 billion and 60 percent stating they will continue to support small local businesses post-COVID, who else would you want on your side?
7. Inner Happiness
I know every single time I walk out of my local coffee shop, I’m smiling. Every. Single. Time. On the flipside, I can’t remember the last time I smiled at Starbucks. I mean, I know I have because their coffee and pastries are tasty, but it’s not memorable to me. But when I walk into my local shop, I watch the owner make my drink, I give my money to his daughter, I talk to the locals who sit at the counter. I made a connection. They make me feel special, and I made them feel appreciated.
8. Online Shopping Too
One good thing to come out of the COVID-19 pandemic is the increase of online presence for small businesses. Now, you don’t have to immediately search Amazon for unique gifts while still being socially distant; the shop I like to get candles from now has an online store! To keep their shops from dying while people were staying home, they brought the stores to the people once again with galleries and inventories. I mean, just this past week, I received a package containing a set of handmade cups from a store in Springfield, Missouri, where I used to live. I was there last month, but the store had very limited hours due to fewer staff members. I was bummed but, luckily for me, their online store was packed with options and offered quick shipping. The little things made the experience.
Whether you’re shopping in public with friends or shopping in your pajamas on your couch, make sure to shop small this holiday season. Your dollar goes a whole lot further when you do. If you’re a small business that needs help getting a website so others can visit you online, let our web design team at Rooted Web take care of you.
Like what you're reading?
Subscribe to the blog for insightful posts delivered via email. We respect your privacy and won't spam your inbox.