Though we’ve only just turned our calendars to December, the holiday shopping craze kicked off last week with the infamous Black Friday rush. Huge retailers nationwide raked in record profits and satisfied antsy shoppers.
This year, a new trend emerged: Small Business Saturday.
November 26th was designated “Small Business” or “Shop Small” Saturday, an event encouraging gift seekers to ditch the chains and spend their money at local businesses instead. The call to shop small was answered by many Americans, lured to local markets by black Friday-esque discounts.
As UMass Amherst students, we benefit from an eclectic assortment of shopping options in our downtown area and also in nearby Northampton. Rather than carting yourself to the Holyoke Mall, take a quick walk downtown or hop on the B43 to NoHo.
You might find something extraordinary at The Blue Marble or the Mercantile, or maybe something classy at Zanna. Local stores like Faces, Ci Ci’s Boutique, Credo Skate & Snow Shoppe and Thorne’s Marketplace of Northampton are great alternatives to conglomerate vendors you can visit anywhere.
Shopping in unique stores can lead to more unique and inspired gift giving -- family members and friends will probably be more excited about a gift that they wouldn’t have picked up for themselves.
By shopping small, you can help to support those small businesses that make the Amherst and Northampton downtown areas the vibrant places that they are. Need another incentive to shop locally? You’ll impress the people you love with special, unique gifts for the holidays.
Make being sustainable and shopping locally a priority this Holiday Season, collegiettes! Happy shopping!