The holidays are approaching and that means that the shopping season is as well. Of course it’s easier to go to Walmart on Black Friday or go to your nearest Target the night of Thanksgiving, but the real gifts are located elsewhere.
Of course it’s always recommended to shop locally, but in general, it's important to shop at small businesses, whether online or in-store. The Editorial Board will be shopping at small businesses this holiday season, and we encourage everyone else to as well.
Small businesses are usually avoided for the cost. Of course it’s easier to buy a five dollar shirt from Amazon and get it shipped to your door in two days. Why would you want to put more money into a product that might take longer to ship to you and will cost you more in the process?
The answer is simple, because just like the company that is making the Amazon shirt, these people have to start somewhere. More importantly, they are putting their time, hard work and effort into a product. It may not seem like it, but 70% of small business owners are run by a single person. This means that each time you purchase something from a small business, you might just be buying that person’s dinner or paying for the gift they are giving to their family members.
Opposingly, when you buy from corporations, you aren’t buying someone's dinner, you are putting money into the pockets of billionaires and paying for their next car. Shopping locally doesn’t have to be expensive either.
Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, Instagram Shop and many similar places currently have many different things that you can buy for your family and friends. There are plenty of options to find what you need. Most of the time, the things that you buy, the money is going to a family similar to yours.
When you walk into a big chain store, there are aisles and aisles of the same product all in a row for people to pick off. While Walmart may have a cheap and cute AirPods case, there are plenty of small businesses that also have them, but they are going to be personalized.
Telling a person that their return receipt is in the box is off putting. Why would you want to do that when you can explain to your family member that you talked with the person that made it to ensure they got exactly what they’d want? It’s not only more meaningful, but it’s thoughtful of you as well. The product you get from small businesses will be better quality, and the people you give it to will notice.
When you get older, the toys, technology and appliances out of a catalog aren’t as appealing as something that is one of a kind. By shopping small, you’re able to bring in a deeper meaning to that gift and will ultimately mean more to the person you’re giving it to. It’s nice to give someone the newest name-brand item, but the holidays aren’t supposed to be about the gifts you’re given.
It should rather be about the people you’re spending that time with, so gift giving should be about the same. Being able to shop small gives you an opportunity to make those personal touches on a gift and have a deeper meaning than just spending money on something.
Shopping at a small business not only makes the gift you give to someone else more personal, but also helps out the person you bought it from. Everyone around the holidays can use a little extra money simply because everyone is spending money on gifts for someone else. Your Christmas gift could indirectly turn into someone else’s Christmas gift, and it might be for someone who is struggling to get one.
Buying from a small business doesn’t mean you have to walk around the streets of your town looking for someone selling something at a booth, it has become easier than ever before to find a variety of different products with the option of personalization online. While shopping small sometimes may come with a bit more money out of your pocket, the meaning behind gifts and the possibility of giving your loved ones something irreplaceable is a reason it should be worth the price tag.