Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, the majority of Americans plan to do their holiday shopping online this year, with some estimates pointing to 65 percent of people who say they want to avoid in-person shopping crowds. This could negatively impact brick-and-mortar stores, especially local small businesses, which often rely on holiday sales to keep them out of the red for the year (hence “Black” Friday).
This holiday season it’s more important than ever to support local small businesses. Not only does shopping local help businesses in the community, it benefits the buyers, too. Small businesses tend to offer excellent customer service, partly because they’re not a behemoth like Amazon and also because they truly appreciate your business. That extra touch means more hands-on, personable service. Don’t see something you like? Ask. Small business owners often have the same access to vendors as larger stores, and they’ll be more willing to work with you to put together that perfect gift.
The best part? When you shop at local small businesses, your dollars stay in your community: For every $100 spent locally, $68 will stay in the community. By comparison, for every $100 spent at a national chain, $43 stays in the community, according to Independent We Stand, an independent business store movement to help communities understand how buying local helps the local economy.
Here are some of our favorite local spots—each offers online buying options, which is key for shoppers who’ll spend this Small Business Saturday at home with their fuzzy slippers and a mimosa.
Cincy in a Box
Shop for: Buckeye foodies and your long-distance bff
The custom gifts at Cincy in a Box are full of your favorite Cincinnati treats, including goodies from Skyline Chili, Grippo’s, Busken Bakery, and Montgomery Inn. Choose the perfectly sized box—with five, seven, or 10 items—and ship it for free anywhere in the U.S.
Inked & Foiled
Shop for: Those tough-to-buy-for friends and family
Much of the treats at Inked & Foiled are geared for customization. Add your own photo to ornaments, pillows, blankets, and coasters. (Check out these seriously cool sequined pillows.)
Shop for: Your in-laws, your book club buddies, and your nieces and nephews
For any reader on your list, a local, independent bookstore is a must-stop for Small Business Saturday. Joseph-Beth Booksellers has new fiction and bestsellers, plus gifts for kids, puzzle-lovers (hello, everyone during quarantine), and writers.
Shop for: Anyone whose 2020 motto has been “Self care, baby”
The bar soaps at Minor Obsession are all about keeping your skin healthy. Everything is handmade, and the soaps are crafted with moisturizing oils and zero synthetics.
Susan Altneau Pottery
Shop for: Pet lovers
Susan Altneau Pottery can recreate your favorite photo of your furry friend on a mug, platter, or teapot. If you’re looking for something custom for the holidays, shop now: Special orders take four to six weeks to make.
Shop for: Your bestie, your mom, and your sister
Sara’s House specializes in cozy women’s sweaters, kitchen goods, accessories, stationery, vintage finds, and more. Shop online, then have your goodies shipped straight to you, or save a few bucks and pick up your purchase curbside from the store.