With Christmas lists that seem to extend down to the floor, it’s easy to get bogged down by all of the hustle and bustle the Christmas shopping season brings. While we may want to get all of our shopping done at one big retail location or mall, it’s important for us to not forget about our neighbors and community members who run small businesses.
Small business owners are so vital to a community whether you realize it or not. Small businesses that are run well can actually bring a lot of tourism to your town and that not only helps the business owners out, but it also helps your community out as well. When people spend money in your town, that’s only going to make it a more vibrant place to live. Money gets put back into things like festivals, food drives, charities, and schools. Often times many sponsorships and donations come from local area businesses. Without those businesses doing well, many organizations and fundraisers wouldn’t be able to get off the ground.
I know what you’re thinking, “but there’s not nearly as big of a selection and the prices are a bit higher”. Yes, that may be true in some cases, but most of these items are so unique to your area. When you purchase a handcrafted wood piece, you aren’t only helping that business owner, but the person who made it as well! I realize that sometimes the prices that can be higher, but honestly you are helping someone put food on the table, keep the lights on, take a well needed vacation, pay their workers, etc. There’s so much more to spending your time downtown then one might think.
So before you go pushing and shoving your way into line (which we know doesn’t happen in small towns, because that person you shoved was probably your son or daughter's third grade teacher) be sure to keep your local shop owners in mind. I’m not saying you have to spend all of your money locally, but be sure to spread your money around. Help someone keep the lights on and a smile on their face. Don’t forget about Main Street.