“Last year I didn’t step into a store for any of my holiday shopping, I did it all online.” As I heard this in conversation yesterday, I realized that although the economy has steadily improved since 2008, small local retailers are facing even a more serious challenge, a growing crisis really. It just hit me that small business owners are facing a crisis as most shopping is done online. I often find myself saying to myself- having a small business isn’t for sissies because it is a very difficult gig. I love love love my store,
but it isn’t easy to survive in this time of shopping online.
If local people don’t shop local, the inevitable conclusion is that the small local shops will disappear. And we shouldn’t be surprised when that happens because we didn’t support them by shopping small. And as someone who loves my small local shop (19 years in business), that would be a sad day. A very sad day. Small local shops are what give our towns personality and heart. We hire people (maybe even your teenagers first job), we put sales tax into the community, we are open long hours to be convenient for you, we know your name, we know your mom, we ask you how your kids math test went because we know your kids, we call you when the tote bag with the llamas on it comes in because we know you love llamas. We enrich our community and make our Main Street unique. We do for our towns what a K-Mart or Sears or Dollar General can’t do. Think about it...when your family is in town from Virginia, do you take them to Ross or TJMaxx? Chances are, you take them for a stroll through small local stores because we are unique.
I hope when you are buying a birthday gift, or a new pair of earrings, or just doing some retail therapy that you will make the effort to deliberately shop local and shop small. Come inside, take a look, but don’t just look around- buy something! You have no idea how much it is needed and appreciated! -Ann