Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone and your left with lots of… stuff. Quantity? Most definitely. Quality? Maybe. Personalized Customer Service and Gifts? Not really. If stuffing stockings full with generic stocking stuffers has left you feeling empty this season, we’ve got a few reasons why shopping small should be part of your rhetoric every time you shop, not just on small business Saturday.
Get a Unique Gift. When you buy gifts from a place like Walmart, chances are, you're not buying the recipient anything special. Products found at big shopping centers often target bargain or ‘last-minute’ shoppers looking for an easy find. The problem with these gifts? The smaller price tags are designed to lure consumers into buying more, and ultimately spending more on generic items that are easy to stock up on. And you pay for what you get; quality is no guarantee. On the contrary, when you shop small you support local artisans, retailers and owners that provide handmade, one-of-a-kind offerings and the kind of customer service that makes your time with the business special.
Support Your Community. Small businesses provide jobs in your neighborhood, for people that are near and dear (especially near). Putting money back into the local economy not only does good for the community, it most likely directly benefits your neighbors versus massive corporations. Small businesses also happen to be a large draw for tourism, so that niche little boutique on the corner of Main Street has a much larger impact than most locals realize. Studies even show that casual face-to-face interactions at neighborhood businesses help build personal relationships and can positively affect your own business. Yes aaaand heck yes.
Noteworthy Customer Service. Ever step into a large retail store and get the feeling that no one wants to be there; including the employees? In all likelihood, those employees are stretched extra thin for the holidays and holiday cheer is a little hard to come by. In fact, when the elves behind the checkout counter are looking to finish their workday as quickly as possible, it's hard to get good customer service. In contrast, employees of small shops generally play a more hands-on role in the business and build a strong sense of care in the work that they do. And in this scenario, your shopping experience likely won't include a scramble to beat other customers to the shelves and checkout counter, fostering a more leisurely approach. This allows for an enjoyable and personal shopping experience for the customer with owners and employees alike who are happy to be working hard and supporting the business.
Small is Big. That little business that brings charm and character to your neighborhood adds more than just personality and pizzazz. To give an idea, small businesses greatly outnumber large corporations and employ over half of the nation's private work force, making them as incredibly crucial to the health of America's economy as they are to our neighborhood. So that cute little shop down the street that works extra hard to stay there is truly a Goliath force in financial stability.
So the next time that you're out and about looking for a gift or even a little something for yourself, be sure to pay your local 'mom and pop' shop a visit first; I think you'll be pleasantly surprised with your experience. Click here to find out where to shop in Gardiner this holiday season.
Thank you to all of your local, small business doing BIG things in our humble town of Gardiner, NY.
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