Support our Local Community by Shopping Small Businesses for the Holidays
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Small businesses are truly the backbone of communities across the nation. The U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Advocacy reported there are 647,639 small businesses in Washington, with 1.4 million employees, or 50.7% of the state's total. Many Mason County residents work at small businesses, so this time of year serves as a healthy reminder on the importance of shopping local to support those critical businesses and entrepreneurs
Saturday, November 27 is Small Business Saturday, organized more than a decade ago to highlight the importance of small businesses to local economies. It continues to be the perfect opportunity for holiday shoppers to help small businesses and familiarize themselves with the entrepreneurs who bring their products and services to benefit customers all year long.
Small business; large impact!
Not only is the date a perfect time for customers to patronize local shops and kick off the holiday shopping season, but it is an excellent opportunity to develop a year-round recognition of their importance. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that from 2010 to 2018, $103 billion in sales has been generated for small businesses on Small Business Saturday. In 2018 alone, it reported 104 million shoppers spent $17.8 billion!
Small businesses fill a critical role as a primary player in a community’s employment base. The Office of Advocacy reports small businesses have accounted for 62% of net new job creation since 1995. Most small businesses hire employees who live close to their operations, so that job creation is an incredible boost to local economies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on career plans for so many individuals. The U.S. has seen a surge in business starts, with applications for new ventures increasing 24% in 2020 over 2019, according to data from the Census Bureau. As entrepreneurs begin their journey, they face a critical juncture. The Office of Advocacy reports that from 1994 to 2019, approximately two-thirds of new employer establishments survived at least two years, with the five-year survival rate approximately one of every two businesses.
Plans for Customers
With so many new businesses cropping up, it is more important than ever to support them during their critical startup phase. Small Business Saturday is an excellent time to begin, with the following actions applicable throughout the year as well!
- Engage with your friend circle on social media to let them know about your favorite stores. Retweet and like a photo or post to your neighborhood Facebook page!
- Purchase a gift for this holiday season and then buy a gift card to use later in the year!
Dedicate your time! While purchasing goes directly to a small businesses’ bottom line, visiting these establishments regularly is just as critical. Local establishments often have only a few employees who work long hours without a chance to get out to other parts of the community. Stopping in for a quick chat will let these entrepreneurs know their services are valued. Send an email or drop them a call to express how much you value their offerings.
Where to Shop Local
Mason County communities are promoting their small businesses throughout the holiday season. Verle’s has everything the outdoor enthusiast could ever want, Shelton Outfitters has shoes, boots, jackets and gear for men and women. The Modern Farmhouse has modern, vintage and unique holiday décor and gifts. Maddy’s Old Town Flowers has bouquets for every occasion and fun stocking stuffer ideas. Cameo Boutique has gorgeous clothes, trinkets, and a wide variety of wines. The Hefty Harvest has their shelves full of pots, soils and fertilizers for that special gardener in your life. Hoodsport Coffee has fresh ground coffees to bring home and share with your family and guests. All across our county, we are fortunate to have amazing small businesses that offer everything you could possibly need this holiday season.
Mason County’s aquaculture is some of the finest and freshest seafood in the world, with several options for local residents to purchase. Taylor Shellfish Farms, Olympia Oyster Co. and Hama Hama Company are all great choices to buy your seafood needs.
Mason County also has a variety of local small farms for all your needs. Local farms like Prospore Mushrooms, Hungry Hollow Farms, Riverbird Farm, Thistle and Bristle, and Hunter Farms have a wide variety of meat, produce and other products.
Local businesses in downtown Shelton offer gifts and amenities to meet any interest, from arts and crafts, to restaurants and other specialty items. November 26 and 27 are Plaid Friday and Small Business Saturday, two excellent opportunities to promote the local, independently owned businesses during the holiday season. Small businesses in downtown Shelton, Belfair, Union and Hoodsport all offer a collection of unique shops offering homemade items by numerous local vendors, antiques, clothing, local wineries and more.
Shopping local matters not just today but everyday! Follow along on our social media this holiday season for business spotlights, education on the importance of shopping local, giveaways, gift guides and all things shop local.