Shop Small, Independent Businesses this Holiday Season

Friday, October 18th, 2019

It might be easier to shop at a giant online retailer or a big box store, but the impact your purchases have at a small, independent store, heavily out way that convenience. Not only will you be helping a real person and community thrive, you’ll be giving a much more unique gift to your recipient and they’ll recognize the time and effort put into it.

Independent businesses generally provide better service and a higher quality of products.

Erica Cerelo and Claire Mazur, co-founders at Of a Kind, said it perfectly, “Most independent businesses are run by people – not by boards, not by stockholders, not by algorithms. And so, you get a different kind of care and quality in their product because their work is a reflection of themselves. Instead of focusing on the next market they’re expanding into or the next round of funding they’re raising, they’re focusing on the details and being the best, they can be.”

Independent businesses build their communities.

Buying from small, local businesses boosts the economy and creates job opportunities in places that need it. In the past decade, small businesses have generated over 60 percent of new jobs in the United States. Small businesses are more likely to purchase their products from domestic manufacturers, which means, that by shopping at them, you are supporting jobs in small towns across America.

Local business owners are often invested in the future of their communities. Roughly 65 percent of revenues earned from local businesses is reinvested into their community vs about 34 percent of the revenue from national chains. Small businesses are also much more likely to give back, donating 250 percent more to local non-profit organizations and community causes than large corporations.

Shopping small helps real people thrive.

When you buy from small, independent businesses you are supporting someone’s dream and acknowledging the tremendous risk and challenges inherent to doing your own thing. You’re helping the owners and their employees put food on the table, send their kids to college and support the local soccer team.

Shopping small and/or local makes for better gifts.

Yes, you are going to have to put a little more time and thought into your shopping. How about a couple jars of yummy homemade jam from a local farmers market with a dozen fresh muffins from a local bakery? Visit a farm or vineyard for small batch treats like pistachios or a local wine. Much better than that candle set you were going to pick up at the big box store, right? Or how about a gift certificate to a favorite local restaurant instead of a scarf from a chain? Or a handmade box of chocolates from a small local chocolatier, a car tune-up from a local mechanic, a car wash, a spa treatment, fresh flowers, dog grooming services, a round of golf for your husband and his buddies or bowling for the family, maid or landscaping services for that busy working couple, or even bookkeeping or CPA services gift certificates for that small business owner? Buy something hand crafted directly from an artist. Learn the story of the products and share it with the recipient.

Make a day of visiting local businesses to fulfill your holiday shopping list this year! Have fun getting out there, meet your neighbors! Besides, doesn’t the effort put into choosing a gift count almost more than the gift itself? It’s much more special when you put thought into it – and even go out of your way a little for it. Not only will your recipient be pleased, you’ll be serving your community and the people that live in it. That has to warm your heart all the way through!

Now, if the thought of spending a bunch of time out shopping makes you shudder, or most of your items need to be shipped, pick small businesses with online shopping and shipping options. Many small to mid-size businesses offer these services and you’ll still be helping real people and communities while saving yourself the stress of crowds, gas, and lines at the post office. Heart of the Desert Pistachios & Wine, as an example, offers world-wide shipping and a large selection of gourmet food items to choose from directly from the ranch.

Let’s make it a year of giving back by buying small and providing high-quality, thoughtful gifts to our friends and family.

Happy Shopping!

Heart of the Desert is a working pistachio ranch and vineyard with four retail establishments in New Mexico. They are best known for their farm fresh pistachios and Award-Winning New Mexico wines. Each store offers wine and pistachio tastings. They offer worldwide shipping and produce attractive gourmet baskets that make great corporate and family gifts. The main store, on the ranch in Alamogordo, offers farm tours that showcases how pistachios are grown and processed as well as a stunning Tuscany themed patio that overlooks the groves and is available for weddings, private parties or enjoying a relaxing glass of wine.