As the holiday season begins, many people who give gifts during this time start making their lists. While it can be easy to fall back on large corporations and big brands for gift shopping, the holiday season is an excellent time to support a small business. You can find small businesses in shopping areas locally, online through their website, social media, local craft and vendor shows, and more. Taking a bit of extra time to shop small can significantly impact small businesses.
The numbers on small businesses give a critical perspective on why consumer support is always appreciated. There are as many as 32.5 million small businesses in the United States as of 2021 (<500 employees count as a small business). Unfortunately, this number is declining due to the pandemic’s recent economic hardships and repercussions. Around a third of small businesses in the U.S. became non-operational in 2020.
About 20% of small businesses fail before the first year, and up 50% shut down by the first five years. When you purchase from a small business, you give the business owner and its employees a fighting chance at beating those odds. Plus, a one-time purchase can even transition to continued support, which is critical for these businesses.
Another reason to purchase gifts from a small business this season is due to the unique inventory of small retailers. Large retailers will be marketing many items you could buy at any store around the country. Smaller retailers often have products with a different, unique touch. This can be especially meaningful for children’s gifts.
There may be a popular toy, video game, or other items that “everyone” wants to get for the holidays, but when many kids receive the same gift as their friends, some of the novelty can wear off quickly. If a child gets a unique, less common gift, this has more originality, and they can show it to their friends for something new during playtime.
Personalization and Customization
There’s something special about seeing your name on a gift. No matter what age you are, receiving a gift with your name, a personalized message, or details reminds you of the thought the giver put into it.
For children, seeing their name on an item can inspire a sense of ownership and prompt them to take extra care with it. Seeing their names on objects around the house helps with the learning process for children learning to read. Many small businesses can accommodate personalization and customization requests that large retailers don’t offer.
Start a Tradition
Once you begin shopping from small businesses, you can make it a tradition to come back each year for a holiday gift. This is an excellent way to bring support to this business over time. You may even get to know a business owner or staff member who can direct you to specific products and build a relationship with you.
Some folks may also make a gift tradition with a small business a family tradition. For instance, here at Hollow Woodworks, we have family members who will always purchase one of our Name Puzzle Stools each time a new baby is born. Following this tradition will help the small business and make your holiday shopping list a breeze.
A final reason to shop small this holiday season is the exposure it brings to the small business you purchase from. If you open holiday gifts with friends and family and tell the group where the gift is from, this “word-of-mouth” exposure is vital to small retailers.
You may also consider bringing exposure to the small business you bought the gift from by engaging with them online. If they have social media pages, consider tagging them in a photo with the gift you purchased or simply following their page and liking their content. Also, leave them a review online, as it helps them tremendously. These tasks only take a few minutes but can dramatically impact a small business and help boost its online presence.
Now that you’ve thought through these reasons to shop small this holiday season, you can head to our online store. We have a variety of wooden puzzles, toys, and keepsakes that you won’t want to miss. The Hollow Woodworks team has been making puzzle stools for over 37 years and has made over 350,000 puzzle stools. Contact us today to get started!