The holiday season is here! As you search for the best gifts to purchase for your friends and family, VALLEY encourages you to shop small this winter. While Amazon and other huge companies have their benefits, there are so many reasons to shift your shopping and shop small this year!
Personalized Gifts and Experience
Whether you shop from a small business’s website or shop in real life, gifts from small businesses are incredibly unique because they can’t be bought anywhere else! Looking to buy a book for your mom? Skip Amazon and head to your local bookstore for real recommendations from the booksellers. Wanting a personalized piece of clothing? Find a little shop down the road selling one of a kind pieces or beanies knitted by hand.
Alex Blomstrom, junior finance major at Penn State, launched a custom apparel company this summer. Although it has been a challenge to build the business while taking classes as a full-time student, she says it’s been an amazing experience.
… I have watched my business grow throughout the year, learning what works & changing what does not. Turning an idea into something tangible is so rewarding to me & I have loved sending unique apparel to my customers across the country!
Support your Local Community
When you purchase from a local business, you are supporting the community you live in. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, around 48% of the cost of your purchase is recirculated into the local economy when you shop at a small business. Supporting your town is important because it is these businesses that pay taxes to the county, helping support your local schools, parks, neighborhoods, libraries, public services and more. When you shop at a large chain store, less than 14% of that money is given back to the community.
Boost your Community’s Economy and Job Growth
Since 1995, small local businesses have created more than 66 percent of all new jobs. According to a Michigan State University study, small businesses are the largest employers in the country, creating two out of every three new jobs. In fact, they employ 52 percent of the nation’s employees. The more you shop at these businesses, the more job opportunities you provide for people in the community.
You’ll Feel Good
Every dollar matters. When you can talk to the shop owner and understand the impact of your purchase, you’ll truly feel in the holiday spirit this season when shopping at a local small business. You have helped both the store and your community to be a better place.
But what if you don’t have the money to support?
If you want to show love to your local shops but don’t have the extra money, there are still so many ways to help
- Share their social media posts
- Use the hashtag #ShopSmall
- Post a picture of their store online and shout them out
- Leave a nice review
- Talk to friends and family in the community to help spread the word
This year has been especially hard on small businesses. By shopping small and local, you can make a positive contribution, helping to grow your community and support your hardworking neighbors this holiday season.