Main Street Matters
The time for holiday shopping is upon us!
How will you choose to spend your holiday dollars?
Instead of pulling out your credit card and browsing .com after .com, why not pull out a warm jacket instead? Slip on those go-to winter boots and top off your ensemble with a colorful wool scarf. Forget about logging on, logging in, scrolling, clicking, shipping, exchanging, crowded malls and hassles in general. Take a walk. Take in the sights and sounds. This winter allow yourself time to experience the joy that holiday shopping should be! The lights are strung, the holiday music is playing low, and local small businesses owners are waiting for you to patron their shops. Indulge yourself!
Before you begin your shopping journey, grab a cup of coffee or hot apple cider from a small shop with a friendly barista. Let it warm your tummy as you savor the stunning original Christmas displays each shop has to offer. Nod hello to friendly rosy-cheek passerby's. Enter shops that grab your attention. Unique shops offer unique finds! Discover a lovely and affordable gift to check off your list. Examine your find up close, hold it in your hand, and know exactly what you’re getting. Make sure all your burning questions are answered: “Where is this made? How was it made? Can you tell me more about this item?” Remember, you are a valued customer and the associate’s job is to help you find just what you are looking for. Ask them to assist you in your search for the perfect present. They might have a jewel hidden away where you didn't spot it!
As you hand the shop owner your money, acknowledge that this individual is an actual member of your local community. They have dedicated themselves through grueling hours to open their shop and keep it running. It may even be their life dream! They toil morning and night to source items, update store displays, all while fending off competition from big box stores. This person is grateful for your dollars because to them, they make a difference! Without your patronage, the darling shop that adds so much charm to your downtown will end up for rent, only to be replaced by another Walmart.
When you’ve finished shopping locally, notice how little packaging and waste there is to throw away. You’ll have found a beautiful, one-of-a-kind, hand picked gift that you will be proud to wrap and give. Watch as friends and family peel into their presents; their faces will light up at the unique treasures you scored for them! Tell them the story about where and how you discovered their perfect gift. Your recipient will feel all the more special, and you’ll also promote business for the shop! Win-win!
As the 2018 shopping season comes to an end, enjoy the satisfaction that comes from helping local small businesses achieve their dreams. You earned it!
* Statistics show that if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy. If you spend the same at a large business, only $43 stays in the local economy. Last year the average American spent $932 on holiday shopping. *
Imagine what a difference each of us could make in our community!
Your dollars demonstrate how much you value local shops in your neighborhood. Make them count.
*(Source: Civic Economics Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan).