It’s the holiday season, and that means tons of holiday shopping! In 2019 it was estimated that the United States alone would spend 846 billion dollars on holiday gifts. Gift-giving is a popular part of the holidays and there are tons of businesses who look forward to the holiday season due to the amount of money it will bring in. Which is why it’s important to shop small or shop local this holiday season!
Small businesses are privately owned corporations or partnerships that have fewer employees and/or less annual revenue than a regular-sized business or corporation. For example, Old Navy is a major corporation, but an Etsy shop or local boutique would be considered a small business. There are tons of small businesses that ship internationally on the internet and operate in localized areas. There are a ton of pros to shopping small businesses so here are five reasons to shop small this holiday season!
1.Shopping small is good for the economy!
When you shop small you are helping the national economy. According to Forbes, about 120 million people are employed by small businesses. That is over half the working population. Small businesses are growing daily, and have been the reason for approximately 66% of jobs since the 1970s. However, they don’t only help the national economy, but they can help your local economy as well. When you shop at a small business in your area (locally-owned restaurants, small grocery stores, farm stands, tiny boutiques, etc.), you are putting money back into the community. According to the American Independent Business Alliance (AIBA), when you shop local, approximately 48% of the cost of your purchase is recirculated back into the local economy. When you shop at chains only 14% of your purchase is recirculated. This money goes back into schools, fire departments, and other public resources in your neighborhoods.
Oftentimes, small vendors support other local vendors meaning your money keeps circling around the community, benefiting more businesses. Say you spend $1 on a sandwich from a restaurant, the store spends your $1 on produce from a local farm, that farm spends your $1 on tools from a local hardware store, and so on. When you purchase from major corporations, the dollar doesn’t go any further; it stays within the company.
2.When you shop small, you give back!
Several years ago the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) conducted a survey that discovered 75% of small business owners donate a portion of their profits — about six percent on average — to charity each year. Oftentimes, choosing local charities. So whenever you shop small, more of your money is going to help good causes!
3. Shopping small is more ethical!
Chain retailers often have lower prices and higher consistency, but small businesses have more ethical and more environmentally friendly production! They normally make their products themselves or from other small artists. Though this isn’t always the case it typically means no child labor and no poorly treated workers. It encourages fair-pay and sustainable production. There’s a smaller manufacturer-to-consumer journey. When you shop from big businesses you are buying products shipped with tons of fossil fuels and oftentimes these manufacturing plants damage the land around them.
4. You’re bound to find more unique items.
Major department stores have all of the season’s biggest trends and typically have pretty good quality. When you walk into one of these stores, you’ll find tons of nice gifts. However, they’re the nice gifts everyone all across the country is getting. No one wants to give (or receive) a gift that you can find anywhere.
When you shop at a small business, you can find some true one-of-a-kind gifts you won’t find anywhere else. Like customizable Lego figurines that look just like you, or a unique quilt, or a uniquely scented candle based on someone’s favorite novel! The possibilities are endless, but you certainly won’t find them at Target.
5. Shopping small encourages diversity!
When you shop at small businesses, those businesses normally hire people who represent the demographics of the surrounding community, including typically underserved populations. Shopping small helps stimulate the diversity of people and the diversity of products. Smaller shops are more likely to carry a varied selection of goods that represent their culture and upbringing.
Shopping small improves the world around you, and there is always a small business that meets your price range and needs. The pandemic has killed so many small businesses, and their employees need our support now more than ever. So I highly encourage you to spend your money at a small shop where it will do the most good. Big retailers are going to make it through the pandemic, but the smaller ones might not.
If you need help finding a small business to support, take this quiz: https://www.girlspring.com/quiz-which-small-businesses-should-you-support-this-holiday-season/