It's Small Business Saturday- Shop Local Today and Every Day!
This year has been like no other, and the impact of the pandemic has been felt in every corner of every community across America. Few areas have seen more of a devastating hit than our small businesses, as they are at the center of our local economies. In fact, according to a recent study by Yelp, over 100,000 small businesses have closed since March.
Despite the daunting challenges to survive, many of these entrepreneurs have worked hard to reinvent and reinvest in their businesses, and this holiday shopping season will be the supreme test. The good news? We can choose to patronize the merchants here in our own towns and play a major role in making sure they remain open until we return to normal.
There are so many good reasons to buy from local merchants, today and every day. Did you know small businesses:
1. Help create and sustain the majority of jobs in our communities
According to the SBA small businesses account for 54% of all sales and over 65% of all new jobs in the U.S. since the 1970's. And a Chicago study found that for every $100 a person spends at a local business, $68 stays in the community vs. $43 spent at a chain store.
2. Keep tax dollars local
Buying from small businesses helps to keep our local economies strong, as 48% of purchases at local independent businesses go right back into our communities vs. 14% at chain stores. These dollars help improve our schools, roads, libraries, and help provide social services for those less fortunate.
3. Give back to support our neighborhoods
Small business partnerships strengthen ties within our communities, from local restaurants supporting our Veterans to ice cream shops that sponsor youth athletics and the arts that rely on them for their own survival.
4. Help other local businesses
Stop by a local merchant, and you're likely to see another one within walking distance. Many small businesses offer products made locally, and this creates a ripple effect in our local economies, as local shops are likely to buy from each other. Think about the local pizza shop that buys their flour, cheese and sauce from local producers, or signs from a local merchant, or flyers from a local print shop.
5. Offer unique products and services
Many of us look for a special gift this time of year that you can't find on Amazon or at a chain store.
Instead of buying mass-produced items, shop at a local independent retailer, and you are much more likely to find that unique and memorable gift.
6. Represent a distinct character in our communities
Tired of crowded malls? Look local and you will find products and services you can only find in your little corner of the world.
Here in my hometown, small businesses new and old offer a little something special for local shoppers. A few of my favorites:
Distinctive Dining or Grab and Go on the Lake
Looking for that special place to celebrate the season? Check out Limni in Lake Carmel for a truly unique menu from the Mediterranean, outstanding service, and a fantastic view, or you can order from their Grab and Go menu.
Home for the holidays and looking for a special dessert?
The Pastry Palate offers custom designed cakes, cupcakes, cookies & pastries hand crafted by Diane Stimson that you simply won't find anywhere else.
Give a gift certificate to a friend or family member.
How about a special custom designed birthday or holiday celebration cake? Check out Ice Cream Studio 105 , owned an operated by Jim and Patty Turco, the quintessential "Mom and Pop Shop" that makes our small town a sweeter community.
Thinking of creating a special gift that will truly keep on giving? Try your hand at custom woodworking with local craftsmen at our local Santa's Workshop, AKA Bentwood Studios as the father and son team of Ernie and Glenn Palmieri will teach you how to craft a custom guitar, salad bowl, wine and cheese cart, picture frame, Adirondack chair, lacrosse stick, spice rack, and so much more.
Looking for a distinctive gift with a home town touch? Try Katherine's Gift Shop or a more laid back experience is your cup of tea, buy a gift certificate for your friend or a family member from Florrie Kaye's Tea Room in downtown Carmel.
To find other local stores participating today in your community, take a look at this store locator tool.
No matter where you shop today, and every day- Think Small!