Kindness Advent Calendar: December 19, 2023 (Day 19)
Welcome to Day 19 of your Kindness Advent Calendar! Throughout December, we will provide you with your daily act of kindness through our Kindness Advent Calendar! Come and celebrate the holiday season as we are kind all December long.
'Tis the season to plan your gift list, which means you can shop local this holiday season. You'll be in good company.
In 2023, American consumers reported spending nearly $17 billion at local shops on Small Business Saturday alone. Maybe you love knowing that when you buy from small business shops because it supports your community. Or maybe you just prefer to avoid crowds at shopping malls, so you've decided to shop locally this Christmas.
Either way, there are many good reasons to support local businesses instead of ordering gifts from online retailers or buying from big-box stores.
Why should I shop small businesses during the holidays in 2023?
It keeps money in your community. If you're debating whether to shop small this holiday season, consider this: When you spend $100 at a local business, $68 stays in your community. Spend $100 at a big-box retailer, and only $48 stays in the local economy. Those dollars add up. No matter what you purchase, money spent at small business shops generates 3.5 times more wealth than shopping at large national chains.
You'll find unique items (especially gifts). Local businesses truly shine when it comes to holiday shopping. You are likely to find cool items that you aren't going to see in chain stores or online retailers. Plus, when recipients unwrap your gift, you're helping that small business spread its name throughout the community and maybe even bringing them more customers. Don't forget to check out local craft fairs if you want to pick up handmade and one-of-a-kind gifts.
It creates 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 does make you feel like part of the community. It's something big-box stores and online retailers just can't offer.
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 keeps local small businesses open and helps all those workers stay employed.
It lowers your carbon footprint. If you're lucky enough to be able to walk to local shops, it cuts down on emissions from your car. But even if you have to drive a few miles to get to your favorite local boutique, you're probably using less gas than a shopping trip to multiple big-box stores in holiday traffic. Shopping locally also eliminates the carbon footprint of delivery and packaging materials associated with online shopping.
You'll keep local businesses thriving. Spending money at small stores keeps them in business. You're not just supporting a large corporation. You're helping a real family whose livelihood might depend on your dollars. Small business shops can't survive without your support - not just during a shop local holiday like Small Business Saturday, but all year long.
You're worried about delays in shipping. This year, you have to worry about what gifts to buy and whether they'll arrive on time! According to CBS News, "clogged ports, a stressed trucking industry, labor shortages, higher demand, and higher shipping costs are all impacting shipments of toys, electronics, apparel, and more." When you shop at an independent retailer, you can walk in with an idea and walk right out with a gift in hand.
You prefer shopping in a store instead of online. When you shop at a small store, you can put your hands on the cool items you want - and you might even have a chance to chat with the shop owner. That means you get one-on-one connections with other people in your community. You just can't build relationships like that when you buy online.
"Behind every small business, there's a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores - these didn't come out of nowhere."
~ Paul Ryan