Go Local for the Holidays

December 4, 2019

By: David Malafarina

The holidays are a time for spreading cheer and giving gifts to friends and loved ones. When you’re looking for the perfect gift this holiday season, it can be tempting to default to the internet. However, this holiday season, you should consider picking up a one-of-a-kind gift from your local small business instead.

“Why is that?” you might be asking. After all, the internet has made it easier than ever to find that popular new toy—the one that would have sold out in holidays past—and have it delivered to your home, not by Santa but by the postal service. However, it’s only slightly more difficult to drive to a local independent business to do your holiday shopping and, more importantly, buying a gift from a local small business is also a gift to your community.

Every dollar spent at independent businesses is money that stays in your community. Studies show that when you shop at smaller retailers, those business owners will spend that money locally as well, keeping the money in your community for longer. Small businesses are also the leading job creators in the United States, accounting for two out of every three new jobs created annually. That means your dollar ensures those small mom-n-pop stores will have the money to expand, modernize, and remain in business!

Perhaps you’re concerned about our impact on the environment. If so, you should absolutely choose to patronize independent local businesses, which typically consume less land, carry more locally-made products, and create less traffic and air pollution by not having to ship products over long distances.

However, the most important reason to commit to shopping locally this holiday is simple: the creations you find at small local shops are one-of-a-kind, unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else, more memorable than whatever the hot new must-have toy or tech gadget is this year. Here’s an example: do you remember Tickle-Me-Elmo? You had probably forgotten about it after the year it was the hot toy for Christmas and hadn’t thought about it until I mentioned it just now. While these mass-produce products are fleeting, a hand-painted statue or a quilt with your family’s names on it will create a lasting memory your friends and family can enjoy.

Your “gift” doesn’t necessarily need to be a product. It could be an experience, like going to see a local band, taking your friends out to a fancy dining experience at a local family-run restaurant, or something as simple as a holiday event with family featuring food, drink, and entertainment bought from small independent businesses in your community.

Whatever your holiday plans are this year, it’s important you show your support for entrepreneurs and small businesses by using your dollar locally. We should all work to spread the holiday cheer and ensure our local business community can thrive!


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