Shop These Small Businesses During Independent Retailer Month

July is Independent Retailer Month, which celebrates the power of small and local businesses. Every $100 spent at local independent stores generates $45 of secondary local spending, compared to $14 for a big-box chain, according to The Institute for Local Self-Reliance. Not to mention, independent businesses bring a tremendous amount of jobs to a community. The Small Business Administration reports that, since 1990, big businesses have eliminated 4 million jobs, while small businesses have added 8 million jobs.

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Here’s a list of some of the small retailers you can support to help spur local economic growth. 

Culture Shock

If you’re looking to add to your record collection, this Rockford, Illinois retailer is the place to be. You can shop new music, old box sets and other music-inspired gifts in store or online. The shop also offers art pieces from local artists and vintage audio equipment. 


Based in Columbus, Ohio, Homage sells vintage-inspired clothing honoring moments in sports, music and pop culture. As an added bonus, proceeds from their Homage Works collection go to help nonprofit organizations prosper. 

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If you’re looking for a gift for the new-agey person in your life, or just something adorable for yourself, check out Home/Work. Voted Santa Cruz, California’s best decorating store, Home/Work offers stylish pieces that take fair labor, affordability, and sustainability into consideration.

illuminate B. Candles

What better way to lighten up your home than with a candle with a 40-60 hour burn time? illuminate B. Candles makes luxury soy candles, room sprays, sage and wax melts. Scents range from citrus to clean sheets. Try the best-selling “Blacker the Berry..” to experience what makes these aromas so special.

Maison Miru

This shop specializes in thoughtfully designed jewelry made in New York City. In addition to necklaces, bracelets and rings, Maison Miru specializes in “jewelry building blocks” where you can makes a piece that’s all your own, like a customized ear stack.

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Pet Portables

If you’re a dog owner, this is a shop to know. Pet Portables offers emergency kits with items you might need to take care of your dog on the go. This includes everything from gauze pads to insect sting wipes. The kits come in a variety of sizes to fit your needs.

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Taylor Jay

Taylor Jay specializes in making style comfortable. They offer an impressively wide range of sizing with features that flatter every body without being constraining. The Oakland, California-centered company partners with an ethically-sourced local factory to take an approach to making clothes that puts the environment first. Each of their pieces is made from certified eco-friendly textiles. You can sign up for their email list to get exclusive deals.

The Time Travel Mart

Welcome to a store full of relics from the past, knick knacks and many other items that are sure to bring inspiration. With two locations in Los Angeles, The Time Travel Mart describes itself as “a convenience store for time travelers.” It’s also the headquarters for Barnacle & Barnacle Publishers who specialize in books written by students. All proceeds from the store go to keep writing programs free for students through the creative education nonprofit 826LA.

TREEHOUSE Kid and Craft

Treat kids to something new to play with and support a small business at the same time. TREEHOUSE offers unique toys and craft supplies from all over the world. The store has two locations in Athens, Georgia and Atlanta, Georgia, along with an online store you can shop from anywhere.


What started in a studio apartment in Portland, Oregon has grown into a popular online and brick and mortar retailer with multiple stores. WILDFANG prides themselves on creating fashion that thinks beyond gender norms and creates pieces with rich functionality (think: pockets. Lots of pockets). Since opening in 2012, WILDFANG has given $500,000 to causes like ACLU, Planned Parenthood and New Avenues for Youth.

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You can always find local businesses near you by searching online, and by using Instagram to search your city and what you’re looking for. Additionally, your local Chamber of Commerce website will usually have a list of small businesses in the area so you can center your next shopping trip around your community. 

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