In honor of Small Business Saturday on November 26, we thought we’d put together a list of the top reasons to shop small and support your local small businesses.
- Unique finds – how many times have you shown up at a party, wedding, work, class, or pretty much anywhere and seen someone else wearing the same thing as you? It happens a lot! One of the beauties of small, independent retailers is that they all carry different products. Quilt shops are especially subject to this. Quilt shops are a reflection of their owners. While you may find the same line of fabric in our store as you would in another store 30 minutes away, the likelihood of you find a large number of the same fabric lines is incredibly unlikely.
- Job Creation – It seems like just about everyone is talking about jobs these days. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses represent 99.7% of all employer firms in the U.S. economy. WOW! Small businesses also employ half of all private sector employees and created 65% of the net new jobs over the past 17 years. There’s a saying among many small business advocates: shop small, create a job.
- Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name – Who hasn’t watched the television show “Cheers” and thought about their local bar or cafe or hardware store or specialty shop where they can walk in the door and get greeted by name? Small businesses don’t typically serve thousands and thousands of different people day in and day out, so it’s easier for business owners and employees to remember the names of their patrons. While it takes a lot of time and frequent interaction for us to remember everyone’s names, we do make an effort. Small business employees create relationships with customers and are more able to assist when you go into the store. When you were last at Walmart or Target, were you greeted by someone who said, “Oh, we just got a new product in that you’re just going to love because it’s right up your alley as far as asthetic goes.” No, probably not. The people at the large clothing retail stores probably don’t know that your favorite color is purple or that you just love vintage feeling prints.
- Abundant expertise – Many small businesses are specialty stores, so the people there are more likely to have experience with the products or services offered. For instance: Quilter’s Compass has 2 full-time and 3 part-time employees. Those 5 employees have roughly 125 combined years of sewing experience. We have employees with expertise in garment sewing, quilting, longarm quilting, bags and purses, and the list goes on. Many small businesses that you frequent probably have similar stories. Perhaps the local pet supply store is owned by someone who has been training dogs for 20 or more years whereas the local branch of a bigbox pet store is managed by somehow who merely considers himself an animal lover. The gift shop down the street might employee a local glass blower and their ornaments and decorations might be made by a glass blower with years of experience and apprenticeships.
- Keep your money in your local economy – It’s commonly thought that money spent at independent retailers is more likely to stay within their communities. Small businesses typically bank with local banks, use accounting services from local firms, and buy ad space in local newspapers and magazines.
So what are your reasons for shopping small? Tell us in the comments below!