Christmas has crept up on us this year, so if you’re like me and have bought next to none of your gifts, you may want to consider having a scout around your local shops. Although it may seem easier to just pop into a department store and grab the first sort-of appealing item you see, buying your pressies from small businesses can be incredibly beneficial in a number of ways.
1. Supporting local retailers gives back to the community
Shopping locally pumps money back into your own community. Fifty-eight per cent more money stays within your area compared to if you spent your dollars at a national chain store. Smaller businesses also grow together as they support each other’s products. As well as this small businesses are more likely to employ from within the local area, giving you and your friends a job.
Also, the little coffee shop down your street and the funky dress shop up the road give your community a unique personality. If you neglect them and continue to hand your cash to the big companies, your town will lose its character and eventually you will suffer.
2. You're likely to get better service
When you shop at small businesses you will almost always receive better customer service and a more personal shopping experience. You get to know the little old man behind the register and feel much more welcome within the store. Workers are inclined to give you personal recommendations and are eager to ensure you get exactly what you’re looking for, rather than just making the biggest possible sale.
3. Your gifts won't be mass produced/generic
If you buy your presents from the little people, you’re almost guaranteed a unique gift. No one wants three sets of the same hand wash and body lotion, so go exploring and find something that will stand out and really make someone happy. It’s more fun and exciting to hand over something you’ve really thought about rather than any old thing off the shelf.
So if you love your community and the shops within it, help them out! Stop buying poorly made dresses that will fall apart in a week, stop drinking mass produced coffee and stop buying creepy garden ornaments from discount shops, nobody wants that. Go for a walk, chat with the owners and have a rummage; your Christmas will be better for it.