You may have missed Small Business Saturday, but you really don’t need an excuse to shop at locally owned businesses. The fact is, supporting small businesses is a great thing to do. It stimulates your local economy. If you’re spending money at your local coffee shop, your money is benefitting someone in your community. What’s more, your money is going to a business that might need to make a sale more than the department store down the street.
In the age of Amazon, it can be easier to click and purchase things online, but it’s also important to support your local community. Who wants their downtown to be tumbleweeds? Supporting your local businesses can help reinvigorate your city or keep your town thriving. Well, here’s a list of great products to pick up at your favorite small business, as well as a few ways to finance those purchases.
1. Memorabilia from Your Town
When you’re browsing your local small businesses, why not pick up something that you can only buy where you live? Think about touristic T-shirts (You know you’ve always wanted one!), specialty calendars or even a simple sign to hang above your door.
2. Art Work
Dovetailing the point above, why not put your dollars to good use and support local artists? Pick up a print or commission a painting for your house. It will be something that you treasure forever, and your money will directly support the artist creating your painting.
3. Dinner at Your Favorite Local Restaurant
Shopping at local businesses is not just about buying gifts or home goods. Family-run cafes and restaurants can get in on the action as well. Treat yourself to an evening at your favorite neighborhood haunt or bar, or invite some friends along and make a night of it.
4. A Custom Piece of Furniture
If you want to support local business or artists, why not go big? Commission a dining room table or a chair from an artisan. You can keep the peace forever, and you’ll get something 100% original.
5. Holiday Gifts
The holiday season is the perfect time to shop locally. Giving something that is from your area is not only a nice gesture, but it’ll ensure that none of your friends or family will get the same thing from someone else.
6. Books From the Local Bookshop
Indie bookstores have been hit hard since the advent of Amazon. But they still remain an important venue for authors to share their work as well as a way for the community to get together. With activities like read-a-longs or character meetups, many are pivotal in connecting young children to books.
Although it might be thriftier to stop by your local library, consider picking up a novel, memoir, or even a coffee table book at your local store. A town without a bookstore is a sad thing, so put your money where your mouth is.
7. A Membership to Your Local Museum
There’s nothing better than supporting community events, and purchasing a membership to your local museum is a good way to do that.
Museums are responsible for so much more than just the exhibitions they put on; they do outreach to schools, support local artists, and are just generally a positive cultural force. Besides, picking up a membership helps ensure your local museum can stay in business for years to come.