The Importance of Supporting Small, Local Businesses During the Holiday Season

With the holiday season comes a lot more shopping, whether it is for Christmas presents, corporate gifts or personal retail therapy – consumerism is at its peak during this time. There’s no doubt that during the pandemic [due to stricter government regulations to help decrease COVID-19 surges], holiday festivities were vastly different from the preceding years. 

An article by City News 1130, rightly estimated–that one-in-seven small retailers across the country was at risk of closing before the end of the pandemic. This was one too many for an economy that is built on SMME (Small Medium and Micro Enterprises). Since the pandemic ended, every year from the last has seen a slow improvement in economic activities, especially for small and medium businesses and corporates.

For the SMEs that managed to recover and didn’t have to close their doors or reduce staff, it hasn’t been exactly smooth sailing, nor can they categorically boast of being at the same level they were pre-pandemic. For this group of businesses, reliance on the support of the general public is vital to the sustenance of their businesses. 

Therefore, the need for individuals and corporations to shop consciously is greater now more than ever.

A popular meme reads “When you buy from a small “mom and pop” business, you aren’t helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.” What more can be added to these words, other than to wish that it resonates with many consumers.  

Just like The Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) during the pandemic encouraged consumers to dedicate part of their spending for the holidays on local stores to support small businesses—there’s every need to continue with the practice. Because if each person spent $100 a year more on local businesses instead of chain stores, it would put an extra $3 million into our economy and create thousands more jobs every year.

So, whether you’re doing shopping for yourself or your company, here are reasons why you should shop small:

  • You’ll find unique items (especially gifts!)

Speaking of unique gifts, local businesses truly shine when it comes to holiday shopping. We don’t know how they do it, but small shops somehow always manage to find unusual gifts that friends and family love. Even better? When recipients unwrap your incredibly unique gifts, you can proudly declare you found them at boutique stores in your community.

  • It fosters a sense of community

The more you shop local, the more you’ll get to know your local merchants — and they’ll get to know you. There’s something nice about walking into a store where people greet you by name (not to mention provide exceptional service). Shopping small really does make you feel like part of the community. It’s something a big-box store, or online shopping, just can’t offer.

  • It lowers your carbon footprint

This is a benefit of shopping small you may not immediately think of but it’s a big one. Those of us lucky enough to be able to walk to local shops cut down on the use of cars and buses. Shopping locally also eliminates the carbon footprint of delivery and packaging materials associated with online shopping.

  • You’ll help keep your neighbors employed. 

Local businesses employ an estimated 77 million Americans, creating roughly two-thirds of all private sector jobs. Choosing to shop at a neighborhood store, during the holiday season and beyond, not only keeps local small businesses open, but it also helps all those workers stay employed. That’s definitely something to celebrate.

  • You’ll keep local businesses thriving 

It’s a simple premise but one that we often forget: Spending money at local small businesses keeps them in business. Small businesses can’t survive, or thrive, without your support — not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year.

(Excerpt taken from the website: OneMoreFinacial)

If purchasing from local stores are beyond your means, there are other ways one can assist local businesses namely:

  • Social media shoutouts:

These are free by the way. In an interview with NBC News, Larice Love, the founder of the vegan beauty brand LipLove, said: “With more businesses going digital and needing to build traction, ‘liking’, commenting, reposting, tagging us in your purchases and unboxing videos [on social media] really helps with engagement, which, in turn, leads to more visibility and sales.” Social media plugs are a free way to show your support and the payoff is almost instantaneous. “[Liplove] has seen a significant increase in engagement and shares as our customers began to promote our messages of love and empowerment to their networks during this season. This has caused a boost in not only traffic to our website that originated from social media, but also from organic search.”

The Edge Team



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