Support Small Business This Holiday Season
December brings a wave of holidays, from Hanukkah to Christmas, with Kwanzaa and New Year's Eve rounding out the month. Many of these holidays include gift giving too. While it is tempting to just ring up your credit card with online shopping, we encourage you to support small businesses this year too.
Support Small Business
Why should you support small businesses? I'm sure you have heard plenty of reasons before, but they all ring true. Small businesses are often run by one or a handful of intrepid business people who have a dream and work hard to see it realized. They often work long hours, and are the ones answering phones and emails, greeting customers, fielding questions, ordering stock, shipping, and a myriad of other tasks. Plus, they introduce competition, innovation, and a wider variety of goods and services to the market, which is good for us all.
Why do they do all that though? Because they believe in that dream and want to see it come to life.
Small businesses might be small, but they are mighty entities which have a ripple effect in their community. Take for example Curiosities Gift Shop in Wortley Village. This beautiful indepently-owned boutique is located in the heart of London, Ontario and is run by a wonderful team of women who have a passion for supporting local Canadian artists and designers. They regularly purchase and promote handmade items and do so with their hearts and souls. For them, it is about quality and craftsmanship, and you get that in abundance in every item you find in store. Plus, there is always a friendly individual to talk to and get recommendations from behind the counter.
Beyond just a friendly face, small businesses often give back to the community in which they are located. They participate in local events, donate items to local charities, host local fundraisers, but most importantly, have real connections with their customers they do business with. Looking for something specific and can't find it? There's a pretty good chance your local small business will do their best to help find it for you.
Not everyone can afford to spend a lot during the holidays though. We get that too. There's no reason why you have to break the bank to make your holidays bright though. There are plenty of ways to spread cheer, without it being too dear on your pocketbook.
Secondhand stores are a great place to shop. Not only can you find gifts and household items for a fraction of the price, but in buying from a thrift store, you just might find the perfect gift ever! Thrift stores are full of vintage items, one of a kind finds, and quirky pieces you just can't find anywhere else. Often for a fraction of the price! When you buy used goods, you keep them out of the landfill, soften your consumer impact, and can feel better about producing less waste in the world. A win-win in our books and we aren't afraid to share that we've found some incredible things in secondhand stores ourselves.
Another place to consider when making your list and checking it twice is local Buy Nothing groups. Most communities host groups where people freely give away items they no longer want. You can find clothing, furniture, books, and so many gift ideas. Looking for something specific? Don't be afraid to ask too! One Buy Nothing group I know of holds a Secret Elf gift every December where people put out three asks, and elves secretly gift the requested items from their abundance. From cookies to curtains, you can get it all, for the incredible cost of FREE and feeling good for stepping out of the economic circle completely. How's that for incredible?
We know it's not always easy to avoid the big box stores. Yup, we've stood in line at enough of them ourselves to appreciate the convenience and chaos they offer. This year though, maybe add a few holiday markets, small businesses, individual artists, or secondhand stores into your holiday shopping. When you support small business, it is a win for all of us!