Why shopping small helps local communities during the holiday season

By Ashley A. Williams

Why shopping small helps local communities during the holiday season

By Ashley A. Williams
Small Business Saturday is coming up this weekend. Making the choice to shop small not only helps you save money, but it’s also an investment into your local community.

Did you know Nov. 26 is Small Business Saturday?

Coming off the heels of the pandemic, many small businesses are working through challenges like supply chain interruptions, rising inflation, and employee shortages. This year, supporting small businesses in your community may be more meaningful than ever. 

When consumers spend their dollars with small businesses during the holiday shopping season, they will fuel the local economy even given the current economic climate. According to a QuickBooks survey, the popular accounting software used for small businesses, 79 percent of small businesses believe that the 2022 holiday season is more important to their financial health than the 2021 holiday season. Consequently, the stakes are high. 

Small Business Saturday—created by American Express in 2010—is a day that takes place every November to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. Today it has inspired hundreds of thousands of consumers to shop within their own communities. 

“The goal is to keep small businesses in business and thriving,” said Sara Rushinek, professor of Business Technology and Health Informatics at the University of Miami Patti and Allan Herbert Business School. “We’re all a community and since the pandemic, there’s been a sense of kindness and closeness that you can’t get from big businesses.”

Here are a few reasons why you should shop small this holiday—and beyond:

Investing in your local economy 

Every dollar spent supporting a local business is also helping to support your neighborhoods by way of sales tax—in Miami-Dade County, that’s 7 percent. From schools, sidewalks, to fire departments, the seemingly small percent makes a huge difference. 

“When the pandemic came around, the whole world was turned on its head and small businesses were really affected. But, they have done a great job at being flexible to match the consumers everchanging needs and wants.” said Rushinek. 

Receive a personal touch you won’t find at big business 

When it comes to shopping local and small, there’s a sense of belonging that larger businesses just can’t offer. 

“Small business owners can get to know their consumers on a more intimate level to serve their direct needs,” said Tanayla Bentley, program coordinator for The Launch Pad. “That will always be an advantage over big businesses, who typically just appeal to a broad audience.”

The U.S. economy has faced a series of ups and down as of late and many small businesses are feeling the pressure. To keep up, Rushinek said, many small businesses have had to adapt, become more flexible and make changes in the way they reach their customers. In turn, this has allowed consumers to experience unique branding and experience packaging that big businesses don’t have the time to create. 

“When you shop small, you’ll receive a sense of kindness and a sense of closeness to the owner,” said Rushinek. 

“The power of small businesses is constantly developing,” said Bentley. 

Small businesses create jobs—essentially helping the nationwide economy  

According to QuickBooks, small businesses have the potential to fuel more than $88 billion in holiday spending. 

Small businesses accounted for 46.4 percent of jobs in the U.S. in 2022, according to the Office of Advocacy, an independent office within the U.S. Small Business Administration.