Want to make a difference by shopping small this holiday season? Or are you more concerned with Black Friday sales and big box store deals? Small business Saturday is a day to support your local community, for their benefit AND yours!
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Why Big Business Causes Big Problems
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. In addition, they know once they get you in the door you will buy OTHER things from them. However, the things you buy at one big box store are pretty much the things you buy at every other major chain department store. As a result, 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.
More Holiday Shopping Tips
- Small Business Saturday Ideas: 10 Reasons to Support Your Local Farmer!
- Sustainable Gift Ideas for a Smaller Carbon Footprint!
- Grocery Shopping Tips to Bring About Social Good
Those cheap items you buy at big box stores and online? Typically, they are made overseas in areas with questionable labor laws. And those dollars leave our country, helping THEIR economy. Not ours. Shopping small and local keeps money in your community.
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What is Shop Small Saturday?
Have you never heard of Shop Small Saturday? (otherwise known as Small Business Saturday?). It has been around for MANY years and is gaining in popularity. It’s basically a nationwide movement that celebrates small businesses. The success of small business helps communities thrive and stay vibrant.
People often forget about the little guy in the excitement of great deals and huge savings. The goal of Small Business Saturday is to remind consumers to financially support the small businesses in their community. Shopping and dining at local businesses keeps small entrepreneurs in business!
Why Should You Shop Small?
Want UNIQUE rather than CHEAP? Reconsider your gift shopping strategies. Here are a few ways that your support of small business can make a difference:
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? OR, you finally find an employee but there are 3 people in line to talk to him already! Talk about frustrating! Of course, that rarely happens with small businesses.
2. Give a gift with character: Ever give someone a gift that you bought through a major retailer and they got that exact same thing from someone else? 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. Support small businesses with your wallet or 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.
5. Help the Environment: You don’t have to buy 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.
Consider Shopping Small Year Round
How can you make a difference shopping small? By continuing those mindful shopping habits year round and not just on one day. Small Business Saturday is a great day to start. However, shopping small should be a year round habit whenever possible. Visit your local farmer’s market. Support a local crafter. In addition, buy products made locally whenever possible. Your shopping habits DO matter and you can vote with your dollar!
Have any small business shopping habits to share?
Diane has a Bachelor’s degree in Microbiology with a Minor in Health Management and Policy. She spent many years working in cancer research, academics, and biotechnology. Concern over the growing incidence of human disease and the birth of her children led her to begin living a more natural life. She quickly realized that the information she was learning along the way could be beneficial to many others and started blogging as a way to share this knowledge with others. While passionate about health and the environment she can’t quite give up her favorite Cheetos and Diet Coke! Learn more about her HERE.