CHRISTMAS IS COMING!
During Christmas, I think it’s really important to support small businesses. You are often receiving a more personal service, with more thought and love going into what you are planning to give. You also can avoid the stress of large crowds at the local superstore!
With some small businesses being run by as little as just one person, you could be making a huge difference to their lives and by shopping from them, you’ll be putting a smile on their face too!
I know there is alot of debate around MLMs but if it's somone I personally know I love to support thier hustle regardless.
Why supporting small business owners matters
Shopping small reinvigorates local economies. American Express found that around 67 cents of each dollar spent at a small, local business remains within your local economy. Even better? Forty-four of those cents go to the small business owners and their employees’ wages. That means shopping small directly supports your neighbors’ income and even creates local jobs.
Shopping small this holiday season has even more practical benefits. Particularly, doing your holiday shopping with small businesses is much better for the environment. By nature of shopping locally, you’ll be doing less driving—bonus points if you walk, bike, carpool (girl time), or take public transit to do your holiday shopping at a small business. Even more, shopping at small businesses with locally sourced goods means fewer resources spent on shipping your purchases.
Finally, supporting small business offers significant upsides for you, the shopper, too. Specifically, you can access unique and bespoke treasures from small businesses in your town. Avoid the lackluster, one-size-fits-all selection that big boxes offer, and access something special from your neighbors by choosing to shop small this year.
Here are a few ways you can support small business with your holiday plans.
ATTEND CHRISTMAS CRAFT FAIRS
You’ll find a Christmas craft fair wherever you go, whether it’s at a small local church or it’s a huge show with hundreds of people. Each one with small businesses, great products and a friendly service! Don't forgoet your local farmer's market as many of them have non food vendors as well. I reciently picked up some great candles, wine, and hot chocolate bomb's at the Tomball Farmers Market and I can assure you they would all make a great gift.
Take a look at what’s happening near you and get involved, chat to small businesses and show your support.
DO YOUR CHRISTMAS SHOPPING IN YOUR LOCAL TOWN OR ONE NEARBY
Supporting your local small businesses is a great way to connect with your community and give something back. If you are like me and live in the greater Houston area, we are surrounded by many great small towns with wonderful hidden gems that you can make a great day tirp out of or maybe make a weekend of it and stay at a local B&B. From delicious food to enjoy over the festive season to discovering amazing handmade gifts. Search online for local businesses, see when the next vendor fair is or head to town to discover something new. One of my newest loves is traveling to Navasota to visit my dear friend at her shop Blackberry & Honeysuckle and walk up and down the street to visit the many great stores there! (Paris Pink & Cowboy Blue is another great stop if shopping for kids)
DISCOVER HANDMADE GIFTS ONLINE
Whether you're on the search for jewelry, posters, mugs or blankets, there are so many handmade businesses out there just waiting to be discovered.
If you're a gift hunter, looking for something extra special, take a look online on sites such as Etsy, I have found many great itmes persoanlly and gifted Esty items to my coworkers last holiday season.
To avoid stress for either you or the seller make sure you place your orders as early as possible. This is especially important if you are custom ordering items – definitely don’t leave those to the last minute.
WHEN IT COMES TO THE FAMILY DINNER, SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL FARMER AND BUY INGREDIENTS THAT ARE LOCALLY SOURCED
It’s easy to head to the supermarkets to get food but you may be missing out on delicious local produce and unique items. Don’t forget about them, get out and visit their shops and see what they have to offer first – you might be getting a bargain!
If you’re planning on going to a restaurant for your Christmas dinner, why not opt for a small local business rather than a chain restaurant? Many caterers and restruants in our area offer full meals you can pick up and bring back to the house.
STOCK YOUR BAR LOCALLY
You can support local business with your drinks choices too! When thinking about what you might serve for Christmas lunch try and choose local wineries, breweries or distilleries for your drink of choice. We’re incredibly lucky to have excellent beer, wine and spirits made right here in Texas so you’ll still be getting top-notch quality while supporting a local maker. In many instances you can order directly from them as well, or even visit them to pick it up if they are super local!
THINK ABOUT THE HARDEST HIT INDUSTRIES
While it’s fair to say most businesses have been hard hit this year, there are some that are likely to struggle for a while longer than most. Industries like tourism, live music, theatre, comedy and the like are unlikely to see full activity again quickly, so if you can find ways to support them this Christmas then it will be doubly appreciated. Gift vouchers, physical music (records, CDs etc), subscriptions to shows – there are lots of things that work for Christmas presents!
SHARE THE LOVE AND SPREAD THE WORD
So you’ve found an amazing small business who has offered quick and friendly service with a wonderfully unique product. Now it’s time to shout about them! Share your photos and thoughts on social media, leave a review, tell your friends about your new discovery and help others find this small business! It’s possible that right now, you don’t have the same kind of disposable income that you once did, and supporting the small businesses you love isn’t financially feasible right now. There are other ways you can do your part, and most of them involve online engagement. Following and sharing your favorite small business on their Facebook and/or Instagram pages as well as commenting and liking their post makes a huge difference to them reaching a larger audience. In addition, writing a Yelp or Google review of a business you love is another helpful tactic. Be sure to let this community know as well and leave a note in the comments below sharing your favorite small business. Shameless plugs encouraged.