After a really tough year, remember that most retail businesses generate 80 percent of their annual income in December. And that's more important than ever. So, rather than doing all your shopping online, here's how you can help independent traders.
Shop early: This gives small businesses a bit of a cushion in a financially demanding time and is especially helpful for 'boutique' online retailers who face a rush of orders in the last couple of weeks of the year.
Be patient: Remember, businesses are dealing with slowdowns due to the pandemic as well as supply chain disruptions. Small business owners are parents dealing with school and pandemic stress just like you.
Use your voice: If you don’t have the financial resources to support local businesses, or even if you do, you can still advocate for them with your voice. Share your favourite small business products on social media.
Just browse: Feeling uninspired with your gift-giving? Visit a local business to get some ideas and just browse. Most likely, you’ll find something you love. If you can shop safely in person, that’s great, if not, see if your local stores have an online presence.
Make room for local eateries in your holiday meals: Our holiday dinner tables are going to be smaller this year, but you can still make room for goods from local eateries. Need holiday ingredients? Source them from local shops and farmers’ markets. You can also buy delicious local goods and mail them to relatives and friends.
Get creative with your shopping: If your niece wants a specific toy set, check out similar alternatives that you could get locally, rather than ordering the generic product from Amazon.
Look for extended Black Friday deals: Many local and small businesses extend their holiday deals well into December. Check out these sales and make the most of your budget.
Talk to owners: Looking for a specific product you can’t find locally? Talk to shop owners and let them know what you want. Frequently, they will be willing to source the product you’re interested in.
Shop with values in mind: Consumer preferences drive market behavior. Where and when you spend your money has the power to keep small businesses afloat and promote more ethical business practices.
If you kindly think, act and spend like this, the chances are that more local, independent businesses will survive and, once again, be given the opportunity to thrive. It can be your Christmas present to them.