Thanksgiving is TOMORROW. It’s a time to spend with family, reflect on what you’re thankful for, and stuff yourself to the gills with turkey and mashed potatoes. Pure bliss.

Then the chaos begins: you wake up at the butt-crack of dawn, fight the crowds, and buy holiday presents for the whole family in some mediocre attempt to save as much money as possible.

Think about it. You’re going to spend around $1000 (yes, that is how much people traditionally spend on gifts during the holiday season). In fact, in 2016, Americans spent $655.8 billion during the holiday season, of that, only about $16.2 billion goes to small businesses. That’s only 2%.

What would have happened if you skipped Black Friday this year, and shopped Small Business Saturday instead?

Money stays in the community

When you buy local, your money stays local. That pesky sales tax stays in your community, and goes towards things like security, schools, and infrastructure. Multiple studies have shown that about 68¢ of every dollar spent at a local store actually stays in the community.

Support jobs

Between 60%-80% of all U.S. jobs come from small businesses. You can read that again. Of course big-box stores employ local individuals as well. But when you buy something at a local store in many ways your purchase is going directly to someone’s paycheck. Whereas at a retail store, your money may end up in the CEO’s pocket.

Reduce environmental impact

When a big-box store shows up (*cough cough, Ikea), they bring with them a staggering amount of negative environmental impacts. What’s worse is that this impact is three-fold:

  1. Often times these stores prefer to start from scratch: buy a large plot of land, level it, put in plumbing, AC, and heating, etc. This leads to land displacement, erosion, and much more.
  2. The amount of energy that goes into the upkeep of a 100,000 square foot store is astounding.
  3. Big-box stores more often than not import goods from other countries to keep costs down, whereas local stores are more inclined to stock with local (or at least American-made), items. Importing mass quantities of goods from around the world leads to large amounts of fuel and energy being used.

Diversify your gifts

OK, this one is a bit of a selfish reason, but still!

There’s nothing worse than opening up gifts with your family, and realizing you and your cousin both got your uncle the same thing. Small businesses carry a wide variety of gifts, often times unusual, handmade, or even one of a kind.

The moral of the story is this: SHOP LOCAL! It’s important. And here in Indy, we are absolutely surrounded by amazing small businesses! And shopping at local businesses does so much good for the economy and environment.

Not sure where to shop? Here’s just a few of my favorite stores in Indy and the surrounding area:

  1. Silver in the City – for the quirky friend
  2. Midland Antiques – for your nostalgic grandma
  3. Global Gifts – for your hippie aunt who never wears shoes
  4. City Dogs Grocery – for your 4 legged friends
  5. Homespun: Modern Handmade – for your friend that has it all
  6. Moonshine Leather Co. – for when you can’t figure out what to get for dad
  7. Black Sheep Gifts – lots of stocking stuffers
  8. Stout’s Shoes – for your increasingly stylish brother
  9. Trilogy Gallery – for your friend that’s always “redecorating”
  10. Hoosier Jewelry – for that *special* someone
  11. Purposeful Design – for your friend who volunteers in their free time
  12. Hoosier Proud – for that die hard hoosier
  13. Essential Wellbeings – for your sister who’s obsessed with essential oils
  14. The Candy Emporium– stocking stuffers galore!!

What would you add to this list?

Shorten the Sales Cycle