The holidays are upon us. It’s time to start making lists and setting shopping budgets, knowing for certain we will exceed them well before Christmas. We can always make a New Year’s resolution to rid of that debt we accumulated in the last 45 days, right? By mid-December, we’ve purchased gifts for Dirty Santa at work, the ornament swap with your church group, a gift exchange with college friends and something for the relative we barely know. No matter how long your list becomes, I urge you to consider this simple chant for the holidays – shopping small helps us all.
Next week is Black Friday, followed by Small Business Saturday, the biggest day for local shopping this year. And while the name of the day may give us the warm and fuzzies, the convenience of Amazon can often overpower your commitment to local business.
The shop small message is so much more than a trending hashtag. It affects every day of the year for the local business owner and the community where the store is located. Local shopping releases a domino effect that touches families, schools and political decisions in your very town. Here are a few key ways your local purchase makes a difference in your community and your state.
It boosts your local economy.
Locally-owned businesses generally consider domestic manufacturers before outsourcing overseas. In fact, many of the businesses in your town carry American-made and locally-made goods. And even if the product wasn’t made in your back yard, it’s highly likely it was made in a town just like yours. Supporting neighbors is important, too.
It employs your people.
Making one purchase locally can impact multiple people in the community. From makers and artisans to the employees who work for the business itself, we need thriving businesses that can support and employ locals. The extra effort we make to buy from a business a few blocks away means neighbors, family and church friends have job security. Local businesses depend on us to show up, both on Small Business Saturday and every other day of the year.
It Builds Your Community
The last time your child had a baseball team to sponsor, who offered their support? Most likely, it was a local business owner. The businesses in this community support us, our kids, school functions and raffles. They serve as drop-off locations for collecting donated items for those in need, and they help us spread the word about causes and events. They are an enormous part of what makes the community tick.
Whether it’s a small town or a big city, there’s always that building considered to be an eyesore. Thankfully, we are blessed to have a some great people in this town that care deeply about revitalizing abandoned buildings. More often than not, these “eyesores” were once local businesses. If a business is left unsupported, it cannot thrive. Yet, if we support local businesses, more will come, and we’ll have the luxury of a variety of options when we shop.