his year, Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 27. But don't limit yourself to shopping at local small businesses for one day; consider using these stores and retailers for all your holiday preparation needs. Not only will you get the personalized service that often comes with patronizing smaller retailers, you'll also be supporting the local economy. Check out these ways to support small businesses while you’re checking off your holiday to-do list.
Shop local stores and boutiques for one-of-a-kind gift ideas.
Plan your party menu using local eateries.
Share your experience with others.
When your gift-giving list is long and present fatigue is setting in, you may be tempted to default to a generic gift option. Small retailers are the perfect solution when you need gift inspiration. Catherine Hobbs, co-owner of Lewis’ Gifts on Youree Drive, understands the value of knowing her customers’ preferences. Her customers want unique, luxury items that often can’t be found in large chain stores. “I am able to travel all over the country and go to different specialized markets,” she said. “I’m the owner and the buyer, so I can go see something new and immediately bring it in.”
An additional benefit of shopping smaller businesses is the emphasis on customer service. Small business owners like Hobbs recognize how important personalized service is to keep customers coming back. “We specialize in our customer service. I have employees that have been with me for 20 years, and we know our customers,” Hobbs said. “And our whole focus is on helping our customers find what they need.”
You can choose to have your entire holiday event catered or pick and choose between local gourmet offerings. By choosing to buy from a locally owned restaurant or cafe, you’ll benefit from enjoying locally sourced food and a personalized touch to your menu planning. Sarah Lowder, who owns Lowder Baking Company along with her husband Preston, knows how important fresh, local ingredients are to making a mouth-watering treat. “Everything we bake is made from scratch every single day using high-quality ingredients,” she said. “So you’re getting the freshest product possible.”
It’s not just your taste buds that benefit from buying local; ordering from small businesses like Lowder’s also keeps those dollars in the community. “Supporting local businesses impacts workers and employees directly,” Lowder said. “And we really appreciate the community support and everybody who comes out to see us during the holidays.”
Word-of-mouth is essential advertising for small business owners any time, and positive reviews can be especially valuable now. Last year’s Local Consumer Review Survey from BrightLocal stated that 87 percent of consumers read online reviews for local businesses, a number that is likely to be higher in 2021. So if you have a favorite local restaurant or boutique, there’s no better time to leave a review of it than this holiday season.