A wrote this a while back as an Instagram post, in fact I reference this topic all of the time here and there, but especially given the wordly situation right now, it deserves to be highlighted as it’s very own post. Supporting small businesses is easier than you think. And no, you don’t need to spend money to do it, it just helps that much more!
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As we packed up to head out to the @babymamahustle holiday market today (made it out the door in record time today BTW!), I was reminded of all the small businesses I have supported over the past year. I have always been a supporter of shopping local & small, but with Black Friday around the corner, I want to remind us all that even though it is so easy to take advantage of our prime membership, try just a little bit harder to support your community. I am not saying you have to buy all the things from your friends or family members who have businesses, as great as that would be! I am saying go to your friend's social media pages and LIKE their posts, SHARE their sales, and (casually) talk them up with others who may be interested in their products/services. Just because YOU don't want to buy essential oils from your cousin's wife, doesn't mean that your work friend doesn't. Running a business is hard work, no matter how much we love it, so that one small task is a HUGE gesture of support and means the world to us. Tap the image for all the tags of all the amazing small shops in this photo (plus a couple more of my unpictured favourites) and shop away! #babymamahustle #supportsmallbusinesses #thedemontignyadventures #shoplocal #shopsmall #shoplocalshopsmallshopawesome #smallbusinessowner #bossmamadiaries #bossmom #momboss #workfromhomemama #workingmom #weregoingonanadventure #shoppingwithmama #ottawamom #ottawamama #bundlebaby #carseatcoat #itzyritzy #teethingmitt #cactusteether #diaperbackback #bossbackpack #itzyritzyrewards #ottawamomblogger #canadianmama #canadianmommyblogger
It is so easy to just pull up your prime account and order that one tiny thing that you can’t be bothered to go to the store to pickup (especially during a pandemic!), or to buy a knockoff version of a handmade product on a bulk overseas site. But with just a little more effort or dollars, you could be helping to provide food and shelter for a local family. I promise you spending the extra dollar on a carton of milk (that is actually made at the farm, an hour out of town) from the small shop on the corner is worth it. It may look and taste the same at first, but the satisfaction and joy that you feel from knowing that you helped a real family do what they love instead of furnish a random CEO’s third vacation home totally is!
So the next time you need something, before you just go click-click-order and add to the the world’s 1% greedy pockets, take another look at how much effort it would really be to wait the 2 days and go into the local shop to buy it. Especially for things that you need to go into a store to buy anyways like flowers or baked goods, instead of shopping at a big-box store, go shop at your local small business. Put a smile on their face AND help them continue to provide their appreciated goods and services. That being said, don’t let anyone make you feel less-than for shopping prime; it’s a convenience and I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t give in every once in a while (even more since my daughter was born!)
And there are so many other ways you can help a small business owner, especially the ones that you LOVE the person but simply have no need (or desire!) to hire them or purchase their products. For example, as a woman who does not have any facial hair that needs shaving, I do not have a need buy luxury beard kits, BUT I do have a husband and a brother and a father who do shave, so passing along the link or website to them is a great way to help out my buddy who makes these kits. And I am sure my social friends list has a whole bunch of people who might be interested as well, so sharing and liking and commenting on their posts helps tremendously AND IT IS FREE TO DO!
Another GREAT way to help spread the cheer is to leave a review for all of the small businesses you have worked with. I challenge you to make a list of all of the small shops you have purchased from this year, and go leave a positive review about ow much you loved their product or service, and how it made you feel. This will encourage other potential clients to give them a try because they too want to feel that same amazingness! (Didn’t love the outcome, reach out to the business privately so they can fix it.) This is another FREE way to share the love without having to spend a dime, and can directly impact the shop’s income.
As a small business owner myself, I can tell you that I have been severely impacted by the pandemic and the mandatory shut-downs, and that our finances took a serious hit. I can also tell you that the encouragement from my friends and past clients, and advance purchase of fall sessions is what saved me. Mentally, mostly. So now that we have been given the go ahead to reopen, the inquiries are slowly coming in, but not nearly as much as they should be at this time of year because EVERYONE has been hit with setbacks.
So I urge you to try an make an effort to buy ONE extra thing or service per month (per week if you can!) from a local small business. Keep that money local and you help boost the economy that much more, and we can have a better chance of recovering from this mess. Many haven’t survived, and many others of us won’t make it through the year, but this is a great way to help save as many of us as you can. An extra dollar is an extra dollar.