Shopping small for the holidays

Buying from small businesses might be more important this year than ever before

Shopping at small and local businesses supports those businesses whether it be online or in-person

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Shopping at small and local businesses supports those businesses whether it be online or in-person

With the holiday season quickly approaching and people everywhere beginning to embrace the holiday spirit, stores are entering some of their busiest times of the year. 

November and December tend to be some of the most lucrative times for stores and businesses. This year will definitely look a little different compared to other years because of COVID-19. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over the majority of everyone’s year and has had a tremendous impact on shopping at businesses in general. 

Most stores now have limits for how many people can be in them at a time as well as many other new regulations which can make shopping in person all the more complicated and difficult. 

All of these new regulations will likely have more people engaging in online shopping than ever before during this holiday season.

According to an article in Digital Commerce, it is projected U.S. shoppers will turn to online stores about 43% more than in previous years.

This change will likely place an even bigger strain on small and local businesses, since many of them do not have extensive online shopping options — unless the stores are completely online, like with Etsy shops. 

According to an article in Forbes from May of this year, it was estimated 75% of small businesses would not survive into the next three months because of COVID-19.

Because of this, it is more important than ever for people to start turning towards these struggling small businesses for their holiday shopping. 

There are many benefits to shopping at small businesses, such as stimulating the local economy and supporting local jobs. 

When people buy from local businesses, the money they spend is put directly back into their community. These businesses also generated about 65% of American jobs in the past 17 years.

Alongside the economic importance, local stores can help you find some of the most unique gift ideas for the important people in your life since they are oftentimes unique to those shops. 

This year Small Business Saturday is vital to keep these businesses alive.

Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday on the last Saturday of November. This is a day dedicated to shopping at these small businesses and it could possibly save many of them from closing.

In the Eau Claire area, there are plenty of small business shopping options to find gifts this holiday season such as the Local Store at Volume One, located in downtown Eau Claire, or Tangled Up in Hue, located on Barstow Ave.

If you are uncomfortable shopping in person this year, there are also many ways to support small businesses while staying safe through shopping online. 

Two of my favorite places to shop online and support small businesses are through Etsy and Redbubble. Both of these online platforms allow artists to create their own shops and sell their products. 

You can find almost anything between them, and the items are usually more unique than if they were purchased from a corporate online shopping service like Amazon.

No matter which format you decide to shop through this holiday season, don’t forget to check small businesses first to help them survive into the new year.

Smith can be reached at [email protected].