As the trend moves away from retail stores and to shopping online many people forget that a lot of small hometown businesses rely on local customers! If you want to prevent your main street from looking like a ghost town than I highly recommend shopping for services and products offered by local companies whenever possible! Here are some suggestions for how to shop locally this holiday season.
1.) Set a budget for Local Products and Services with your holiday shopping! Set aside a small sum in your holiday shopping budget specifically for local shopping. Then when you want to buy something at a local store, but you’re hesitating over the price you can justify that extra few bucks because it’s not only helping a local business, but it’s keeping your dollars in the local economy instead of sending it overseas!
2.) Look for Local Specials… some small towns offer special days where they are offering a discount on goods and services. Sometimes these correspond with “Small Business Saturday” (which is the first Saturday after BLACK FRIDAY) or festivals and more being held in the town. Take advantage of these deals when you can! Some credit cards even offer incentives for shopping on Small Business Saturday as well!
3.) Eat Locally. – Visit restaurants in your area that advertise that they source their foods locally. Not only is this more sustainable for our planet because of the shorter traveling distances for products, but the quality is usually better because it’s fresher and you can know exactly where your food is coming from and being grown! Other ideas for those who like to cook at home is to look for Farmer’s Markets or Locally owned Grocery Stores!
4.) Tell a Friend! – Most of these businesses have very limited advertising budgets. So the best way to get more business is by “word of mouth” Sharing your wonderful experience or the awesome product with a friend is going to probably do more for this business than even your purchase can! Visit their Facebook page and “Like” it and leave a review or even leaving a review on the many other websites available to advertise on can help their business. Other ideas on where to leave reviews: Yelp, Home Advisor, Wedding Wire, The Knot, and more if you search for pages that relate to your specific product or service.
5.) Turn your shopping experience into a holiday tradition! We all have special family holiday traditions that we like to do from year to year such as putting up a tree, baking cookies, and visiting Santa. But what if you decide to set aside a day every year where you take your family shopping on the local main street! Give the kids a budget or allow them to spend their allowance purchasing gifts for friends and family. End the shopping trip by grabbing a bite to eat at a local restaurant or grabbing a cup of cocoa or coffee at a local shop. This time of year you can also join this idea with some of the local entertainment being provided downtown whether that be carolers, bands, tree lighting ceremonies, holiday bazaars or Santa appearances.
Have a Happy Holidays! Thanks again for your supporting “Our” local business! We look forward to serving you in the future!