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Why I’m Shopping Almost Exclusively From Small Businesses This Holiday Season

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

The holiday shopping season is upon us once again, which means it is time to pick out gifts for friends and family. Over the years, I feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at finding the perfect gift for each of my loved ones, and as I’ve gotten older and more aware of where my money goes, I’ve become a more conscious shopper. I thought I’d share with you why I have decided to shop almost exclusively from small businesses.

How Employees Are Treated

Big box stores, like Target, and massive online retailers, like Amazon, hire thousands of employees for the regular shopping season, but they also hire thousands of “seasonal”, or temporary, workers to add to their workforce for just the holiday shopping season. Having worked at a Target before (and on Black Friday, might I add), I know how stressful this time of year can be. One thing I take into huge consideration now is how the company treats their employees. This year, I have decided to not shop from Amazon at all due to how the Amazon employees have reported poor treatment many times as well as poor working conditions. I know that any money I spend at Amazon will just go to support unjust treatment of the workers of the company, so I have decided to look elsewhere for gifts.

Small Businesses Were Majorly Affected by Covid

During the earlier days of the pandemic, lots of small businesses had to close down because they were not making enough money. Chain retail stores were not as affected by the pandemic and even thrived in some cases. I would much rather see many small businesses than lots of chain retailers around, and by me spending my money at a small business, I can help support them and help keep them in business.

Easier to Find More Unique and High-Quality Gifts

Some of my family and friends are notoriously hard to shop for, which means more generic stuff from retail chains is harder to make into a good gift. I’ve found that by using websites such as Etsy, I am able to find unique gifts that those difficult to shop for absolutely love! Oftentimes, handmade products from small businesses are of better quality than a similar object you might find at a retail chain.

Happy holidays, and happy shopping everyone!

Shae Walker

Hawaii '24

Shae currently studies at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa. When she isn't writing or studying, Shae can be found reading tarot cards, listening to Måneskin, and studying a variety of different languages.
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