We all know that the holiday season is the busy retail time of the year. Holiday shoppers are bombarded with too many options for where they can spend their money. Many customers often flock to big corporate, international stores to buy their gifts. Local, small businesses, on the other hand, offer an alternative to generic corporate products. It may be time for you to start shopping for holiday gifts. Why not shop local?
Here are some reasons for you to shop local this holiday season!
For Economic Reasons
Small business owners generally live in the same community their business is located in, as do all of the employees. By shopping local, you are ensuring that money stays within your community. If you buy from local businesses you also know where your money is going. Therefore your money may be an investment into that local business’ growth and go directly into the business owner’s pocket. By choosing to shop local will be literally helping small businesses keep their doors open.
As a result, many more jobs are created within your community, because often the people working for these small businesses are also members of that community. People with stable jobs are also often more solid members of a community and add value to that community. Small businesses are a legitimate part of the fabric of the community and rather than just being located there.
For Social Reasons
One of the main reasons to shop local is that small, independent businesses bring character to the community. By shopping local, you are given the chance to explore your immediate community, which you may miss out on if you directly go to a big wholesaler.
Small community businesses are also often very loyal and collaborative. The small business community is very supportive of each other, and you’ll often find that they sell or promote each other’s products and services too. Since these local businesses are a part of the community they are also often a part of the community culture and development. This may involve, for example, contributing to or sponsoring community events.
By supporting small, local businesses to succeed you could inspire confidence in other entrepreneurs who may also want to start their own businesses. Shopping with smaller businesses and not predominately choosing larger chains creates invested confidence in local talent.
For Ethical Reasons
Small businesses often also give back to the local community, not only through job creation and supporting other businesses, but also through corporate social responsibility. In addition to keeping our money local, shopping local this holiday season also helps to cut back on pollution caused by industrial waste. Smaller businesses may have a shorter manufacturer-to-consumer journey. There is, therefore, more transparency in ingredients, materials, and sources of the products you buy. Your local purchase helps cut down the processing, packaging, and transportation that big box stores demand.
For Unique Gifts
Small businesses sell high-quality, locally produced products, manufactured in small quantities. If you need to buy a gift for someone, visit the local market to find something unique and special rather than something anyone can own if they visit a big retailer.
When you shop local, you can also often get honest, expert advice directly from the shop owners, because they specialize in their products. These shop owners are also often the ones who have crafted their products, so they have a sense of pride for them. You know that each product will turn to be unique. Hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind gifts are often the most meaningful and treasured by their recipients. Buying local also means more affordable and quality products in some cases, as the shipping cost is cut out or reduced, and the production line is often shorter
For a More Personal Experience
Small local businesses are also more likely to provide a more personalised customer experience. Small businesses have a smaller customer base, which means they’re likely to go above and beyond in their efforts to help you. When you buy products that are made and distributed locally you also get peace of mind that should you need on-site support for product maintenance you will be able to access it locally. Due to being often directly managed by the owner of the business, small businesses are usually more cozy and comfortable. Employees may also have better knowledge of the products and be able to give better advice about which gifts you should buy.
Overall, it is clear that shopping local is the way to go this festive season. In our country, buying Proudly South African products is not only encouraged but also celebrated!