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Why You Should Shop Small This Holiday Season

Over the past year, small businesses have been one of the hardest-hit industries due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A vast majority of people stopped going out to local restaurants and would order most of their household products from larger retailers who were able to constantly deliver. Now that things are slightly returning to normal, local businesses have been able to reopen and are hoping to make a full recovery — but they can always benefit from additional support.

These are some of my favorite advantages of shopping small, and I encourage you to consider local businesses this holiday season and into the new year!

Shopping small is also better for your community and the environment as a whole. When shopping at small businesses, you can directly support your neighbors. Money that is spent at small shops is more likely to continue circulating throughout your own community, so it’ll go on to benefit more than just the individual(s) who own the small shop you purchased from. This is especially important right now because the holiday season provides more opportunities for purchases and thus, more opportunities for additional monetary benefits for the overall community.

Some local businesses are individually focused on being environmentally friendly, but, regardless, shopping at local businesses reduces the chance of supporting toxic trends — such as fast fashion — and decreases the potential pollution that is often caused by larger retailers’ production methods. In my experience, products from small businesses also tend to last longer since they’re made to be more sustainable.

Speaking of their products, small businesses offer unique items and potential gifts that you can’t buy anywhere else. This is one of my favorite parts of visiting a local business; you never know exactly what products they’ll have in stock, and depending on the store, you often get to find new products each time you visit. Local businesses are often able to complete custom orders as well, which can add an aspect of personalization to gifts.

You also don’t necessarily have to make a purchase to support small businesses! Simply reposting their posts on platforms such as Instagram can make a difference in their engagement; you’ll help the business reach more people by spreading information about it! Interacting with the account can also have an effect, so liking and commenting on posts is another way to support a business virtually.

This holiday season, don’t forget to check your local alternatives. You can even get a group of friends together to explore new small shops; I’m sure you’ll find some hidden gems along the way!

Maggie is a sophomore at University of Central Florida studying Marketing with a minor in Mass Culture and Collective Behavior. She is an avid lover of coffee, cats, and indie music, and you’ll often find her reading at a local coffee shop, exploring Orlando, or going on spontaneous road trips with her friends.
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