With tomorrow being Small Business Saturday I wanted to share a few reasons I try to #shopsmall all year.
While Black Friday and Cyber Monday focus on big retailers, Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to remember the small businesses that are essentially the backbone of their communities.
Five reasons to #shopsmall
1. Create jobs
When you spend your money with a small it goes back out into that same community in the form of new jobs. The Small Business Administration reports that more than half of all sales in the U.S. are attributed to small business who provide 55% of all jobs! When you shop at the small businesses and shops in your community, you’re stimulating your local economy.
2. Your dollars stay local
This is a no-brainer. When you shop local, your taxes stay local. According to Civic Economics, 48% of purchases made at local small businesses go straight back out into that community, as opposed to less than 14% of sales from chain stores. When you tax dollars stay local they do more good in areas like public services, schools and our public libraries.
3. Giving back
When you support your local small businesses, you’re helping them to create strong partnerships with local organizations. They don’t just cut checks either. Your small businesses are more likely to make personal connections with people in the neighborhood, not-for-profits and other groups. Think about your local coffee shop hosting open mic night, or a local restaurant or boutique hosting fundraisers for local organizations.
4. Unique products and services
It’s a known fact that shopping at a small, independent shop will get you more unique options. You’ll often find items made by local artisans or locally sourced products. Service based businesses will offer more specialized and personalized services. You don’t have to settle for the mass produced, cookie cutter gifts when you shop at one of your downtown boutiques.
5. Community diversity
As with humanity, business needs diversity to thrive. If every where we went it was just strip malls and big box retailers, there would never be any opportunity to stand out. Small businesses nurture diversity by bringing their own unique perspective and personality to a community.
Another great reason to shop small is that it makes you a more thoughtful gift giver. As the next holiday or birthday approaches, it’s all too easy to reach for a gift card to a big name retailer. And we all love the convenience of the mall for buying multiple gifts. Think for just a minute, though, about watching the look on someone’s face when they open a trinket box with a one-of-a-kind necklace or a handmade scarf. It’s never the quantity of giving … it’s the quality of the giving.