November 1 – December 31
Large employers and chains are vital to our region, but this holiday season we ask that you support small businesses to ensure they last for years to come.
1. Small businesses need you. While SCORE recommends that companies should hold operating reserves for three to six months, most small businesses have done so. With inflation, rising costs, hiring issues and a plethora of other challenges putting our small businesses in a precarious position, it could be affecting which companies will be here in the new year.
2. It feels good to shop small. Supporting small businesses feels good because you can see the impact. The smile and gratitude you receive for shopping at a small business feels special. They can say you’re making a difference, and they’ll often remember you when you return.
3. Small businesses support your cause. Small businesses are the first people you turn to when asking for support for the causes you love, from your kids’ sports to your favorite nonprofits. Your sponsorships improve the quality of life in the region. But they cannot sponsor your causes if they are not in business.
4. Small businesses answer your questions. Chatbots are great, but they’re programmed to literally answer your questions. They don’t anticipate needs or ask follow-up questions like small business owners and white-collar workers do. Sometimes the conversation that emerges from talking to small business owners leads to other opportunities, interests, and stories. This is unlikely with a chatbot or a large online retailer.
5. Small businesses give you an experience. Small shopping is about the experience, and Christmas shopping features some of the biggest highlights of the year with seasonal flavors, delightful demos, delicious tastes and happy tunes. Sparkling lights make everything more festive. Even an amazing website can’t offer the same enticing shopping experience as visiting your favorite small business in person.
6. Small businesses rely on your vacation spending. Up to 20% of small businesses rely on holiday sales to offset slower times of the year. Not shopping locally during the holidays will impact their future.
7. You can be a gift magician. Times are tight right now, and many of us are cutting back on spending this year to help meet rising costs for essentials. While it’s natural to look for the cheapest gift during these times, you don’t want to give up that Christmas smile on the perfect gift just to stay on budget. Many small businesses offer unique, thoughtfully designed items that you can’t get in many places. You can spend less but give your special someone something they will appreciate.
Small shopping this holiday season is a big deal. The past few years have been tough for local businesses. With lower operating reserves, rising costs and lower sales, they need you this year. And if you like these little shops, you know where to put your vacation dollars.