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Shopping Small: how to support local businesses during the holidays

As soon as the clock struck 12, and October turned into November, the holiday season officially began. Whether you decide to get a head start on getting into the Christmas spirit or you want to appreciate Thanksgiving, approaching the task of holiday shopping while keeping small businesses in mind could have a huge impact on your community.

There is no arguing that online shopping and chain stores can offer fast shipping and more appealing prices, but small businesses can provide a lasting impact on your overall shopping experience and leave a lasting impression on your future habits. Here are three reasons why you should shop at your local small businesses during this holiday season.

1. Shop small every day

The biggest impact you can have on small businesses, whether it’s during the holiday season or not, is to continuously shop at and support them. Shifting your shopping routine to support these small businesses has a huge impact on your community and the citizens who live around you. Small businesses provide jobs for your community and keep the money within your local economy, which can be turned around to benefit your neighborhoods. In most cases, small businesses also work closely with local charities and fundraisers, which helps bring your community closer to one another.

2. Shopping with small businesses is more environmentally and ethically friendly

Shopping at small businesses where they sell ethically and environmentally friendly products helps promote a healthier lifestyle and turns attention away from unethical practices used by large corporations. Small businesses tend to have a shorter manufacturing process, where products and items are made close to home, which eliminates the need for unfair working conditions and the production of pollution in factories. And lastly, transparency is a priority with smaller businesses, which inform the customer where ingredients/materials are from in the products that people buy.

3. Buy/receive a more unique and meaningful product

As a small business becomes the heart of a community, owners put that love into their products. Compared to a department store or a large chain, you won’t receive the same quality level or uniqueness there compared to a small business. You can support small businesses while giving your loved ones a truly one of a kind gift.

Amelia is a freshman at St. Louis University studying physical therapy and an athlete for the SLU's women's swim team. She is often found in the pool or in front of her computer with a coffee in hand. She uses writing as an outlet to express her thoughts and interests.
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