The holidays are fast approaching and everywhere I look I see Black Friday ads from major retailers. All of the big box stores are gearing up to provide shoppers the hottest new toys, clothes and electronics at deep discounts. How can they provide these deep discounts? Mainly because chain stores buy in bulk and get huge discounts themselves. And they know once they get you in the door you will buy OTHER things from them. But, the things you buy at one big box store are pretty much the things you buy at every other major chain department store. You can’t tell the difference between them at all. In other words, there isn’t much that is ‘unique’ about a Black Friday purchase from a major retailer. If you prefer UNIQUE rather than CHEAP I encourage you to reconsider your gift shopping strategies and shop at small businesses on Saturday November 24th! What are the benefits to shopping small? Here are a few ways that your support of small business can really make a difference:
How can Shopping Small Help?
1. Get more personal attention: How many times have you wandered around a big box store looking for somebody with a certain colored apron to help you out? Up and down the isles you go and not a single employee to be found. OR, you finally find an employee but there are 3 people in line to talk to him already! Talk about frustrating!
2. Give a gift with character: Isn’t it embarrassing when you give someone a gift that you bought through a major retailer and they got that exact same thing from someone else! Who needs that kindof stress! Buy a gift from a small business owner who owns a shop downtown and you can pretty much guarantee that it will be a unique and one of a kind gift!
3. Keep your money local and your downtown thriving: No one wants to drive through a quaint downtown shopping center only to see half a dozen stores that are closed up! If no one supports those small businesses with their wallet there will be no more quaint down town areas to enjoy!
4. Avoid the Black Friday stress! One reason to NOT shop on Black Friday and to stay home completely is to avoid the chaos! The traffic, the crowded parking lots, the lines and the screaming children who really should be at home in bed….none of these things make shopping on Black Friday enjoyable in the least. So, stay home and in your jammies on Black Friday and choose to shop on Small Business Saturday (November 24th) instead!
5. Help the Environment: You dont have to be buying organic baby blankets or hemp socks to benefit the environment when you shop small. Just shopping at a local retailer helps you reduce your carbon footprint. Fewer travel miles for your product mean less emissions in the air. Small businesses also tend to use less packaging and are much more aware of cutting utility costs than big businesses are.
Over the years I have found a number of local crafters that I enjoy shopping at. Actually, since most of those crafters attended all of the summer farmer’s markets I have a few gifts already tucked away in my closet for holiday gift giving. Shopping small can happen all year, not just one day after Thanksgiving! My favorite small business to shop at during the holidays is a cute little pecan company up the street called the Stone Mountain Pecan Company. Living in Georgia means that I am in the heart of pecan country! These make great gifts for my family, even the ones who don’t really NEED anything! Everyone loves to snack and they not only have locally grown pecans but also an assortment of other nut products, baked goods and jams made right here in Georgia. My family all seems thrilled with my selections and they are happy that they don’t have another knick-knack cluttering their shelves!
Please consider finding a small business to support on November 24th! Vote with your dollar for locally made products!
Learn more Small Business Saturday and how shopping small can!
Disclaimer: I wrote this post while participating in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Express. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.