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Shop Small, Local

Posted on Thursday, January 9, 2020
Who doesn't love shopping online? Sure, Amazon makes it so simple to click and order Christmas gifts for your family - but shopping small, local businesses do so much for your community!

Here are some great reasons why shopping local should be your go-to for holiday shopping!
1. When you buy from an independent, locally-owned business, studies show more of your money is used to make purchases from other local businesses, service providers and farms, thus continuing to strengthen the economic base of the community.
2. Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation. Less shipping = less wait time and lost packages.
3. Did you know that non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from small business owners than they do large businesses? Who supports the school's football teams?
4. Shopping small keeps our community unique. Many handmade and crafted items are one of a kind you cannot find elsewhere!
5. Local businesses are owned by people who live in your community and care for your community. They are less likely to leave and care about your community's future.

Where are some good places to find locally made goods?
- Local restaurants, pubs and coffee shops, vs the large chain stores. Consider purchasing gift cards or certificates.
- Craft and Vendor fairs - think of it as a "one-stop-shop".
- Facebook & Facebook marketplace. Are you looking for local honey? Do a search in your FB marketplace to see who is offering local honey!
- Small storefronts. Think holiday baked goods from your local bakery or custom embroidered shirts, or maybe even custom wood blocks for a nursery. Most boutiques are small business owners!

What are some items that are often offered locally instead of finding them online or from big box stores and what is the difference?
- Handmade oils, soaps, and waxes. Some are made from local animal milk and have less harmful chemicals in them - so much better for your skin and home!
- Custom apparel. Have picky kids or want something with their name on them? Customization is the way to go! Homemade hats, mittens, and scarfs are surprisingly warm and stylish!
- Artwork - Anyone can go to Hobby Lobby and find a hanging for the living room, but a one-of-a-kind piece will be a great conversation starter for your home!
- Imagine having some beautiful custom jewelry that's one of a kind! Jewelry is always a good go-to for anyone on your list!
- Custom mugs, tumblers, and drinkware - not only can you create something one of a kind, these can help your gift receiver stay stylish and hydrated all year long!

Don't forget your MLM sellers too! Great smelling candle waxes, essential oils, clothing, and health products. These guys fall in the shop small category and often have wonderful specials as the holiday approaches!

So ditch the big box stores on Black Friday and forget about the Cyber Monday deals - and head out and about in search of your holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday! Can't find what you're looking for locally? Try your hand at Etsy or asking friends where they purchase from!

I challenge all of you local artisans to post a link to your shop in the comments below!