small business saturday is important
For anyone remotely unaware of the huge shopping days coming up at the end of the month, Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, November 30th. Since it started in 2010 (by American Express, weirdly enough), this annual tradition has continued to grow year after year to a whopping 104 million shoppers driving an incredible $17.8 billion dollars of revenue in 2018. Abstractly, we all know that shopping local is best for our local economy, but why? We put together a few of our favorite reasons, some of which is backed by research, so you feel empowered in supporting your favorite small businesses and makers.
You’re supporting someone’s dream!
If you don’t participate in Small Business Saturday for any other reason, at least do it for this one: supporting someone’s dream. While that comes off a bit corny, it’s true when you really think about it. Imagine if you took the leap to start a business doing what you’re most passionate about. Imagine connecting with customers over what sets your soul on fire and the joy you can spread in doing so. Now imagine giving someone else that joy in sharing what they love with you combined with you discovering some amazing new products, whether that’s pottery or jewelry or stationary or whatever. It’s officially the holiday season, so let’s start spreading that peace, love, and joy.
More of your tax money goes towards improving your local area.
Let’s break down this fact, because on the surface it may raise some eyebrows. At first glance, both options provide jobs and both options can engage in trickle-down economics (i.e., first you get a coffee, then you go shopping, then you grab lunch, then you need to pick up mascara, etc.) and both options have to pay varying levels of business taxes.
This happens because small mom-and-pop businesses don’t have access to the same resources that national chain stores have. Where chains utilize corporate accounting, software systems, technology, marketing, and branding, local businesses either have to hire for these services in house or they have to outsource in their local community. Already, we’re seeing small businesses either 1) creating more local jobs and/or 2) spending their business dollars locally.
You’re supporting local employment!
Yes, national chains provide jobs on multiple levels. Something worth considering, though, is a point made above: while big box stores can utilize corporate resources, local business are far more likely to turn to other local providers, thus further stimulating the local economy. Whether it’s outsourcing their accounting to a local firm (which, in turn, also supports their employment) or hiring someone to do the work in-house, either way you’re helping folks in your community get and keep jobs.
You’re more likely to help make an impact in your neighborhood.
You know what small businesses love to do? Good deeds. Especially partnerships with local charities who need the support. Some business to seasonal or promotional charity events, and some *cough* have longterm community partners in order to create more lasting impact. Even though consumerism has its downsides, it isn’t all bad, right? If you find an organization where you can shop for a good cause, we recommend familiarizing yourself with it so you know how your participation creates positive change.
You’re way less likely to buy the same thing that your neighbor has.
At the end of the day, big box stores tend to sell the same style with slightly different details over a number of seasons, meaning when you buy something from them, you’re likely buying something a ton of other people also bought. On the flip side, local businesses and artists are known for their ability to create and/or sell items you won’t be able to find anywhere else. In an over-saturated market selling to crowds attempting to curate their lives, unique pieces are fewer and far between nowadays, so we’re always on the hunt for special entrepreneurs worth praising.
Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for a curated list of small businesses, makers, and vintage items that caught our eye. Whether you find your one-of-a-kind pieces with us or with another small business, we love supporting small, independent movers and groovers in the community.
If you have a favorite local spot that you can’t stop talking about, show them some love in the comments along with either their Instagram or website!