Businesses Around the Country Give 13 Reasons To Shop Small During the Holidays

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As part of GOBankingRates’ Small Business Spotlight series, we asked small business owners across the U.S. to share why it’s so important for consumers to shop small this holiday season. Before you check everyone off your gift list by shopping at big-box stores, consider these reasons for supporting a small business instead.

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Nicole Evans, Owner of Elevated Grounds Coffee & Espresso in Lindon, Utah

“As a small business, we aren’t successful or able to remain open without local support. This isn’t only during the holidays, but all throughout the year. We know it’s easy to shop at chains for holiday shopping because it’s convenient, but small businesses have items that are unique to us that are just as great.”

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Chris and Jessie Apple, Owners of Little Rockers in Shrewsbury, New Jersey

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“Small business is the heart of every community. Those you know and love own small businesses or work for a small business. They truly are vital to the world around you and continually need to be supported. I always feel like seeing small businesses in a town really adds character and dimension to an area.”

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Tricia and Hazel Arce, Owners of The Toasted Mallow in Gilbert, Arizona

“It’s important for consumers to support small businesses during the holidays because it’s what will keep them in business throughout the year. Especially if they have been operable during the past two years, this holiday season is important. A holiday can either make or break a small business — it’s truly a small business Super Bowl from Thanksgiving through Christmas. Shop small and build your communities. Empty storefronts don’t fare well for home purchases or the growth of a community. When you’re supporting a small business, you’re supporting a real person! Your purchase will help them support their families, their teams, and help them grow their businesses and create more jobs.”

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Beret Loncar, Owner of Body Mechanics Orthopedic Massage in New York

“When you support me, I directly support others in a way other bigger employers do not. I have given personal loans, paid for plane tickets home to family, bought new phones for people when they would not do so for themselves. Supporting a local business means you are supporting a family.”

See: 6 Holidays Purchases That You Should Only Make at Costco

Sam Davis, Owner of Nonbeenary Designs in Dayton, Ohio

“In a good year, many small businesses will shut their doors for good. With COVID for the last two years, we’ve been struggling immensely. It is simply critical for consumers to support small businesses during the holiday season. Without supporting small businesses, we all lose out — on the creativity of millions of Americans, on the choices that small producers bring to the market and on supporting families across the U.S.”

Learn More: From Airfare to Gifts to Your Tree, How To Save on Every Aspect of Holiday Spending

Quilen Blackwell, Owner of Southside Blooms in Chicago

“By choosing to shop local, you may discover community programs, like Southside Blooms, which you never knew about before. Plus, when you buy from local makers with hyper-local supply chains, you don’t have to worry about international shipping concerns. Our seed greeting cards, for example, are made using local flower seeds, local recycled paper and local labor, so we won’t be affected by the supply chain issues. Same thing for our holiday wreaths. When you realize that your shopping dollars can make a real difference in your community, you are likely to decide to keep that as a habit even after the supply chain crisis subsides. When you buy gifts from a social enterprise like this, you’re also giving the gift of hope to young people in communities where hope is often lacking.”

Read: Why Do We Spend So Much Each Year on Holiday Shopping?

Maggie Paige Owens, Owner of Presley Paige in Fayetteville, Arkansas

“Shopping small during the holiday season is important as it allows small retailers increased cash-on-hand to pre-buy for future seasons, maintain seasonal labor and give back to their communities. The best way to support small businesses during the holiday season is to buy products currently on the shelves in the store or online at the shop’s direct website. Purchasing existing products versus a gift card allows the retailer to sell through existing in-season inventory. Every dollar counts more when shopping small.”

Discover: Wrapping Paper, Greeting Cards and More Holiday Items to Only Buy at Dollar Stores

Mariana Leung, Owner of Wicked Finch Farm in Hudson Valley, New York

“Small business owners wear our hearts on our sleeves. It’s easy to get to know us, what we believe in and what your business will support. If that aligns with what you are passionate about, it’s a win-win.”

Brittany Dyer, Co-Owner of Beautiful Fight Woodworking in Springfield, Missouri

“It’s so easy during the holiday shopping season to spend an entire budget on large box retailers, but this is a vital time for small businesses! Supporting small businesses is more than that — it’s supporting your community as a whole, from the employees to the little leagues they sponsor each year. Almost 70 cents of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the community.”

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Nathan DiPietro, Owner of I Want a Belt in Jacksonville, Florida

“I believe that shopping small provides three benefits: personal connection, unique products and consumer priorities. In an ever automated society, there is a movement back to a more personalized touch. The shopping experience is more than just a product. Consumers are looking for something that they can resonate with. And, many large businesses are not offering (or cannot offer) that connection.”

Charlie McKenna, Owner of Lillie’s Q in Chicago and Destin, Florida

“Lots of small businesses, especially restaurants, have been forced to pivot (multiple times) during the pandemic. For example, many restaurants have relied on increased sales of merchandise or groceries to stay afloat. While the recovery is still ongoing, the uncertainty remains heavy — many small businesses are experiencing staffing shortages, and are scrambling to continue operating and serving their customers the way they want to. By buying from smaller companies, you’re supporting them in a time when they really need it. Small businesses are a huge asset to our economy, and they need our support more than ever. It’s best to buy directly from them whenever possible, but keep in mind that any support is helpful. Also, make sure to leave reviews and engage with them on social media because it helps increase their visibility! When you order takeout, for example, post and engage with the brand on social media. These simple things can really help.”

Learn More: 10 Stocks Set To Soar From Holiday Shopping

Jenn Wong and Santos Agustin, Owners of Gone to the Dogs in Brooklyn, New York

“Small businesses are the lifeblood of big cities and small towns; we service the neighborhoods and communities we live in and contribute to them in a way no big-box chain can. Using your purchasing power to buy local during the holiday season when small businesses make the majority of their income can be meaningful to you and your neighborhood’s immediate quality of life. It means supporting a long line of people with families who probably live in your community. It means more personalized services, more income coming into your locality, no unfriendly empty storefronts where you usually walk your dog or let your children play, and much more.”

See: Don’t Let Inflation Bust Your Holiday Shopping Budget

John Atencio, Owner of John Atencio in Colorado

“There are so many good reasons why anyone should always support small businesses, but the biggest one would be that you would also be helping your community. Small business has a huge impact on the economy, but most of all, what you invest in a small business is also being invested in your local community. This is a boost that is much needed, and you can’t beat the customer service from a small mom-and-pop shop versus a big corporation with a store in every corner. When buying from small businesses, you’re helping put food on the table, put children to school and college, dance and music lessons, and more job opportunities. When a small business is thriving, they tend to hire more staff, which also contributes to not just local, but the overall economy.”

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About the Author

Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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