Black Friday traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season, but avoiding big retailers in favor of local business is one of the best ways to financially support your community during the holidays. This year, as the pandemic poses unparalleled challenges to small businesses, it’s more important than ever to keep your money local. Here are 9 ways to support small businesses this holiday season.
- Shop early. Shopping early helps give small businesses a bit of a cushion as they head into a financially demanding time of the year and is especially helpful for online retailers who face a rush of orders to ship in the last couple of weeks of the year.
- Be patient. Remember that businesses are dealing with slowdowns due to the pandemic as well as supply chain disruptions and shutdowns. Remember, small business owners are parents and partners too who are dealing with online school and pandemic stress just like you.
- Use your voice. If you don’t have the financial resources to support local businesses, or even if you do, you can still advocate for them with your voice. Share your favorite small business products on social media or leave positive Yelp reviews for local establishments.
- Just browse. Feeling uninspired with your gift-giving? Visit a local business to get some ideas and just browse. Most likely, you’ll find something you love. If you can shop safely in person, that’s great, if not, see if your local stores have an online presence.
- Make room for local eateries in your holiday meals. Our holiday dinner tables are going to be smaller this year, but you can still make room for goods from local eateries. Need holiday ingredients? Source them from local shops and farmers’ markets. You can also buy delicious local goods and mail them to relatives and friends who you can’t spend the holiday with.
- Get creative with your shopping. If your nephew wants a specific toy set, check out similar alternatives that you could get locally, rather than ordering the generic product from a big retailer.
- Look for extended Black Friday deals. Many local and small businesses extend their holiday deals well into December. Check out these sales and make the most of your holiday budget.
- Talk to owners. Looking for a specific product you can’t find locally? Talk to shop owners and let them know what you want. Most often they will be willing to look into sourcing the product you’re interested in.
- Shop with values in mind. Consumer preferences drive market behavior. Where and when you spend your money has the power to keep small businesses afloat and promote more ethical business practices.
When you buy from a small business, you’re helping a local family buy their own holiday gifts, you’re getting fresh and local ingredients, and you’re helping your community thrive, so as we head into the holiday season, use these tips to shop small and local.