It’s TIME TO THINK SMALL in Delaware County!

One of my favorite movies this time of year is “It’s a Wonderful Life”. The story centers on George Bailey, who, through the intervention of an angel, is given the opportunity to see how his life has affected his entire community. In this affirmation of life, George realizes that each life is valuable and each decision can have profound consequences on the future of seemingly unconnected lives.

During the next few weeks we will be encouraged to “buy local” and “shop small”. Shopping in our neighborhood stores offers great value and superior service. Many of us, both personally and for our businesses, try to purchase goods and services from our neighbors whenever possible. Like George Bailey, we have the ability, particularly this time of year, to make decisions that will affect our communities.

Our decisions to buy locally during this holiday season and throughout the year have broad implications. Every dollar we spend in the county is one more dollar that can circulate through our economy, working to maintain and expand private-sector employment.

Imagine our communities without its small local businesses. Who will give the additional support our school athletic teams, music programs, and other school activities need and deserve? Where will our local service groups look for members and financial support? What will be our community hub–that gathering spot for the exchange of news and stories? Pretty bleak picture, huh?

Throughout the year, we count on our Main Street to be the heart of our community. At this time of year, Main Street counts on us to remember its importance and support with our purchasing decisions.

But what exactly are the benefits of shopping small, and why should you do it on Small Business Saturday and every day? Here are some huge reasons:

  • Small businesses give back (more) to your community. When you support a local business, you’re supporting your neighborhood. What’s more, on average, 67% of each purchase at local independent businesses is recirculated locally, compared to less than 14% of purchases at chain stores.
  • Small businesses make a major economic impact. More than half of jobs created in the US since 1995 were created by small businesses. The more you shop at a local store, the more potential job opportunities you could help them provide.
  • Small businesses provide greater access to product diversity. Small businesses have just as much access to vendors that big box businesses do. If a small business doesn’t have the products you want or need, ask them! They’re also much more receptive and willing to order them for you.
  • Small businesses provide better customer service. Small business owners strive to survive and one of the biggest advantages they have over large retailers is the ability to provide more personable, hands-on, and memorable customer service.
  • Small businesses create a sense of community.You’re much more likely to get to know a small business owner in your neighborhood.
  • You’re going to feel good!

And, with all the concerns about supply chain problems, items from Delaware County artisans and producers have never been delayed in a container off the coast of California!

It is, in many ways, “a wonderful life” in Delaware County. So, when you start your holiday shopping, remember George Bailey and plan to visit that neighborhood store or seek out that local artisan or entrepreneur.

This year, take the Pledge to Spend LOCAL, Shop SMALL, Eat LOCAL, Enjoy LOCAL, and support the small businesses that support you and your community.

Your purchases will mean more when your dollars are spent closer to home and those receiving your gifts will appreciate your thoughtfulness for selecting such unique items. Your communities will appreciate your thoughtfulness too.