Dating and Relationship Advice

That little coffee shop around the corner you love? The mom-and-pop bookstore down the road with the cute shop cat? That one vintage shop with the amazing deals? They might be in trouble. The pandemic has been awful for small businesses. According to Yelp, as of September 2020, about 60% of the businesses on their platform have permanently closed because of the pandemic. Yikes.

What can you do to save small businesses? Shop small this holiday season. By shopping local, you’re not only getting unique, personal presents, but you’re also putting money into the pockets of the small businesses that need it most.

If you need some ideas for where to find local gifts, try these:

Farmers Markets

These bad boys don’t just have vegetables. Most farmers markets also have jams, sauces, baked goods, and even local art that would make great gifts. Especially since a lot of farmers markets double as craft fairs.

Small Shops and Boutiques

Instead of ordering a toy online, bop over to a local toy store. Rather than getting that trendy new sweater from a big retailer, try your local boutique. Support your community by purchasing gifts from people in your community.

Online Marketplaces

You don’t have to leave your home to shop small. The vast majority of small businesses have websites these days and would be more than happy to ship you your gifts. You can also check out online shops like Etsy that are full of handmade, thoughtful gifts created by loving hands.

Local Eateries and Bakeries

Restaurants, bakeries and other food establishments are hurting, too. Try buying gift cards for post-pandemic nights out or tins of cookies to spread some holiday cheer.

Sure, you might spend a few more dollars buying that guitar strap from your local tannery than if you were to buy one on Amazon. But those extra dollars can mean a world of difference for that business owner.

Here are a few more tips to make it even easier for you to shop small this holiday seasons

·      Be Patient and Kind – Toilet paper isn’t the only thing that’s going out of stock. Many businesses are dealing with supply-chain issues and might have trouble shipping or stocking popular items. They’re doing the best they can.

·      Use Your Voice – If you don’t have the budget for presents this year, you can still support small businesses by leaving good reviews and sharing recommendations.

·      Find Deals – The big retailers aren’t the only ones that offer holiday deals. Check for sales to save while shopping small.

·      Just Ask – Perhaps the biggest benefit of shopping small is that you’re dealing with an actual person. So, if your local store doesn’t have a product you want, ask if they can order it!