With Thanksgiving abnormally late this year, stores and shoppers are itching to kick off the shorter-than-ever holiday shopping season on Black Friday. But with stores opening earlier and earlier, and lines winding through the aisles and out the door, where will you spend your valuable time and money this year? At the closest big box store, you’ll find that same generic coffeemaker or Blu-ray player that everyone is waiting in line for, but at the closest small business, you’ll find so much more – meaningful gifts, budget-friendly sales, outstanding customer service, and most importantly, the joy that comes with giving back to your local community.
Small businesses put the personal touch back into the holiday shopping season. Have an ultra-picky wine-lover in the family? Stop by a local wine shop for expert advice to find the perfect bottle, produced right in your own community. Need a last-minute repair because you dropped the new power tool you bought your dad? Take it in to the local hardware store for a quick fix, even at the last minute. When you choose local businesses this year, you’ll find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your shopping list, and you’ll have dedicated business owners there to help you every step of the way.
“Service and support like no other is the reason Ace Hardware exists,” says Robin Arterburn, owner of Pinnacle Peak Ace in Scottsdale, Arizona. “We’ll come to your home if you can’t figure out how to put your screen door back on the tracks. Or if you can’t figure out how to light the Weber grill you just bought from us.”
Shopping at locally owned businesses brings just as many gifts to your community as it does to your loved ones. Small businesses employ local workers, give to local causes and spend profits in the local community. For every one hundred dollars you spend at small businesses, $68 returns to the local economy. If you spent that same one hundred dollars at a chain store, though, only $43 would return to the local economy. That’s an extra $25 from your holiday gift budget going toward better schools, parks and roads in your community, just by shopping at local businesses.
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas, Hanukah, Kwanza or maybe even a December birthday, make the holiday season special by shopping at local businesses this year. You’ll find meaningful, one-of-a-kind gifts that no one will expect but everyone will love, and you’ll spend more time with the people you love and less time with the people who just tried to jump the two-hour line at Wal-Mart. This year, give yourself, your loved ones and your community the gift of buying local.