If you’re struggling to find the motivation to brave the big retail stores during the holiday season, you might want to think small. There are perks to shopping at small businesses. Here are four good ones:
1. Unique gifts
Searching for the perfect holiday gift can be difficult when you keep seeing the same products. No one wants to give people a gift they’ve received from someone else or an item they’ve seen at a department store in the last month. Small businesses can offer unique gifts, especially if they are selling their own handmade products. Think of shopping small as an opportunity to wow your friends and loved ones.
2. Better, more personalized customer service
Good customer service can be hard to find during the holidays because retail employees are often stretched thin and busy with other customers. Small businesses can offer a more enjoyable and personal shopping experience that allows time for more browsing and exploring, rather than scrambling to beat other shoppers to the shelves. Also, small-business employees may have more knowledge of the products and services they’re selling than workers at larger retailers.
3. Supporting your community
Shopping at small businesses helps provide jobs for your community, and it puts money into the local economy. Plus, many small businesses are supplied by other entrepreneurs, so you could also be supporting many other enterprises.
4. Less impact on the environment
Shopping local is better for the environment because small businesses have lower shipping costs. Many large businesses ship products from overseas factories, but small businesses often create their products using local resources.
Updated Nov. 23, 2016.