Reasons why to shop local this holiday season

0
217

Tiffany Asher, [email protected]

SWEETWATER COUNTY, WYOMING — Now that you’ve digested that turkey, it’s time to start shopping and offer local businesses community support on Small Business Saturday today or any day of the week. For small business owners, that business they run isn’t just a store, it’s a part of who they are. When you support these individuals, you’re not just keeping that business alive, but also the community as a whole.

Advertisement 

Many people may wonder, how did Small Business Saturday start? According to Farm Bureau Financial Services, “Small Business Saturday started as a campaign launched by American Express on Nov. 27, 2010, to help small businesses gain exposure and to inspire consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season. The day became official in 2011 when Washington State mayors, governors, senators, and President Obama shared their support for Small Business Saturday. 

In 2012, American Express amplified the campaign by helping small business owners promote their businesses. The credit card company offered small business owners free personalized ads to spread across the web. That year, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small businesses nationwide. By 2013, communities began celebrating the holiday by pledging support to their local businesses and organizations. 

In 2015, the number of people who shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday increased by 8% from 2014 to more than 95 million people and spending reached $16.2 billion. Consumer spending has continued to grow with online shopping becoming a more common way for small businesses to sell their products. Online spending grew 13% between 2019 and 2020 and continued to grow at a slower rate of 2% in 2021. Today, most Americans know what Small Business Saturday is and, of those who participate, nearly all recognize how important the holiday is to their communities.”

Advertisement 

This year, help kick off this campaign by shopping at your local coffee shop, bakery, restaurant, jewelry store, boutique, or just local stores rather than shopping at a national chain. Shopping locally matters because it affects the entire community. The more money spend in these stores, the more money that stays within the community. According to American Express, “For every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stays within your local economy. In addition to helping schools and other organizations through taxes, small businesses are also often the organizations that support local sports teams, charities, and events. Plus, local retailers are more likely to hire locally than retail chains.”

Some motivation to help encourage the community to shop local is knowing the benefits it can have on towns. Did you know that shopping locally can reduce your carbon footprint? Typically when you buy local, that business buys local, which leads to less transportation of items. Since these businesses are close to housing, most people can also walk to these local stores without much transportation. It can create local jobs in the community. How many people do you know work at one of these businesses? If you buy locally, you are supporting your friend, family member, co-worker, acquaintances, and more.

Advertisement 

According to Boody, “Many local businesses support local not-for-profits and charities that are relevant to that area, so by shopping locally you are helping to increase the number of local donations. It goes without saying that bigger companies and chains do also support charities, but if your preference is to support local not-for-profits and charities, your best bet is to shop from your local store.”

Another great reason to support local businesses is to support creativity and innovation. Think about the different businesses in downtown Rock Springs or Green River and how different many of those stores are compared to Walmart or TJMaxx. They usually have different and unique items, some of which are actually made locally by crafters and vendors. These ideas should be welcomed and help bloom into the next best thing, while also supporting not just the small business, but local vendors in the area.

Advertisement 

The final mention from Boody is that “One of the top reasons to shop locally is that it helps to create the identity of your community. A town, suburb, or city street filled with unique and vibrant shops will create a more appealing aesthetic that is not only great for the locals but for tourists, too.” Knowing this, tourism can flourish in towns where there are more local and unique businesses all around. This can help increase revenue for when we have rodeos come into town, even the RV rallies that have been held recently in the past few years.

The holidays are all about giving, and the best gift you as an individual can provide is to support local businesses in your town.

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement 

Advertisement