We’re approaching the busiest shopping days of the year. You’ve likely started to make your shopping list for the season, and surely you’re budgeting to make it all work. It would be pretty easy to pop into major department stores to get all of the gifts you need, but I’m going to take a moment to ask you to please, pretty please consider shopping small business. And here’s why;
Walmart will still be busy in January
Yup. We’ll all still need toilet paper and toothpaste in the new year so they’ll be just fine. The small business owner will, however, see a significant decline in sales. And I’m not talking about the expected kind of decrease a big box store will experience. I’m talking about, “I hope we sell enough so we can pay the rent on this place.” kind of decline. Every extra dollar spent with a small business owner this season contributes to helping them bank some cash to keep the lights on over the slower winter months.
They’ve stocked up for the season
Uh-huh. Small business owners dig deep into their pockets to get more product on the shelf to try and be as competitive as some of the big box brands. The time and money spent to make the season profitable is always a scary investment. By making an effort to support them, you’ll be making sure they don’t sit on a surplus of inventory which could cripple a small business over slower periods. I think we’ve all thought at one point or another about how nice it would be if some of our favourite shops had more variety. The truth is, they can only invest more money if they are making money. So, if you want your local shop to grow, they need your support.
They invest in your community
Who does the local newspaper go-to for advertising to keep their paper alive? On who’s doors are you knocking when you need support for special events or campaigns? Small business owners are always asked to help and contribute to these important causes. Do they do it for marketing opportunities? Sure, maybe. But they also do it because they believe in giving back to their communities, even if it’s not always in the budget. They are the ones donating to local charities, giving prizes for draws to support your kid’s sports leagues, contributing to local publications to highlight your city. They are an integral part of your community, and if you want to continue receiving their support, you must do everything you can to support them.
You may have the latest electronics or sports gear on your list for some of your favourite people this holiday season. Those items may not be easy to find in the small business shops in your community, but there are always stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, teacher tokens of appreciation to buy. At the very least, we can make an effort to pop in and find small bits to tie up the details of our gift-giving. Because it’s true what they say, “When you shop from a small business, an actual person does a little happy dance.”