During the holiday season, shopping is often on the top of everybody’s to-do list. Finding unique, meaningful gifts for the special people in your life can be such a challenge in a world taken over by big-box retailers all selling the same mass-produced products. It’s so easy to grab a gift card to a corporate chain or order something online for free two-day shipping and not think twice about the kind of impact that could have on your community. We get it, convenience is great—but we want to remind you why you should take an extra five minutes to Look Local First this holiday season.
1) Keep more money in your local economy.
Obviously, right? But did you know $68 of every $100 spent at a local business stays in the community (vs only $43 when you shop at a huge national chain, and even less when you order online!) That’s one statistic that could have a HUGE impact if everybody paid a little closer attention to it. Studies have shown that in an area the size of Portland if consumers shifted just 10% of their spending from national corporate chains to local businesses, it would add $127 million to the local economy. That is incredible!
In 2019 alone, Small Business Saturday drove approximately $19.6 billion in spending. So instead of falling for the advertising encouraging you to order from the comfort of your couch (as nice as it sounds), grab a coffee or hot cocoa and venture out this holiday season! Show your community some love.
2) Find meaningful and unique gifts.
Would you be more excited about a gift card to Applebee’s or to that cool new restaurant in town with the creative menu? Would you be more excited about a gift mass ordered online or by getting something special from a local boutique? Shopping locally helps you give better gifts and support the neighbors around you, plus your recipient might then become a new customer for that business!
3) Help create local jobs and encourage growth.
Small businesses in the U.S. employ over 58 million people. Help keep these jobs in YOUR community! Not only that, but studies have shown that significantly more of the money you spend at local businesses is reinvested into the community through purchases made at other local businesses. Shopping locally is the gift that keeps on giving!
"When you Look Local First, you’re not helping a CEO buy his next private jet, you’re helping a family put food on the table, buy their children dance lessons, or pay for their college."
How can patrons support the Look Local First message?
The most obvious answer is to quite literally SHOW your support. Head to our Look Local First website to check out how we are spreading this message through stickers, soft tees, and sweatshirts. Wearing the slogan is a quick and easy way to spread the word, but the best way to show your support is to do a little extra work and head to a local boutique or restaurant for gifts instead of opting for the convenience corporate companies offer. For the reasons we've mentioned above, it's WORTH a little extra effort.
Also, mark your calendars for Small Business Saturday and support what makes your community special. Why not wow your loved ones with a gift that gives back: something unique from your favorite local store? VizyPay challenges you to Look Local First when shopping, dining or looking for services this holiday season and every day!
How can your business join the movement?
Again, the obvious answer is to put up a Look Local First window sticker, found here, but you should also leverage what you do best as a small business this holiday season! Whether it’s a specialty product, unique service or unmatched quality, your business has something to offer that cannot be found in a department store... so flaunt it!
Whether you’re preparing for Small Business Saturday or looking to boost your traffic throughout the year, try some of these tips:
- Utilize social media to launch a new product or create a showcase your holiday specials
- Send loyal customers sneak peaks of NEW products!
- Create a gift guide or make gift bundles and post about them!
- Extend your holiday sale at the last minute. Generate some buzz and urgency to get in and do some shopping!
Regardless of how you choose to show your support for small businesses, when you are wondering where to begin on your holiday shopping list, we hope that you remember to #LookLocalFirst!
To learn more about our efforts and other ways to benefit local businesses (either your own or others around the community), explore the rest of our blog!