• Ashley Flores

Shopping Small and Locally is the Way to Go!

We all love to shop. Whether it be for ourselves or others, we can probably all agree that shopping is something highly valued and enjoyable. Our small and local businesses are the center of our communities as well as our neighborhoods. By shopping small and locally this holiday season, we are able to really make a difference for our small businesses. Especially now that we are going through a pandemic, it is difficult for these small and local shops to stay open and in business. Due to these struggles, the shop small movement was created. This movement encourages people to support and buy from small businesses every day or when they can to ensure that communities are able to blossom.

Now, when was the shop small/local movement started? According to the American Express website, this movement was actually created back in 2010, in the middle of a downturn for small and local businesses. That same year, American Express created Small Business Saturday which happened to land the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This day encouraged consumers to shop small or local and to make an impact for these businesses just in time for the holidays.

That year was a great success for this movement. However, the year after that, in 2011, Small Business Saturday became nationally recognized. That year, the President of the United States promoted the day, resulting in the movement gaining a huge amount of momentum. In the year 2017, about 12 billion dollars were spent by 108 million people who shopped and dined at their local businesses. Since that day an estimated 90% of consumers said that shopping small as well as Small Business Saturday has had an optimistic impact on their everyday lives.

Shopping locally doesn’t only help small businesses, it also helps you, the consumer. Buying things such as fruits and vegetables from places like your local farmer’s market you know and can trust that the food you will be eating isn’t filled with any harsh chemicals. Another reason why shopping locally is the way to go is because it makes your community one of a kind, vibrant, and unique. Dining at small businesses in your local community is better than supporting big chains. So next time you’re in the mood for sushi, try out the local family-owned place.

In order to help this movement each year, many organizations sign up to serve as Neighborhood Champions. These Neighborhood Champions come up with events and activities to bring communities together to help Small Business Saturday. In addition to that, in 2011, public officials, nonprofit trade groups, and municipal organizations all came together to encourage everyone to shop locally by forming a Small Business Saturday Coalition.

Now more than ever, small businesses are in need of help. Many small businesses have been impacted greatly by COVID-19. In an interview American Express had with the Small Business Recovery Research, 62% percent of small businesses mentioned that it is necessary to see consumers spending as much as they did before the pandemic in order for them to even stay in business. This leaves many small business owners questioning if they’ll make it to 2021. In addition, shop owners have also said that it would be helpful if their regular customers were to return and purchase from them again, especially during the holiday season.

With all this being said, purchasing from small businesses truly is the way to go. It undoubtedly helps the business, the owners, your community, and even you. By supporting small businesses consumers are ensuring that their communities stay unique and one of a kind. Not to mention, buying handmade jewelry or a delicious freshly made cupcake from your local business is always appreciated. So, ditch the chains and start shopping small and locally-- you won’t regret it!

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