4 Easy Ways to Shop on Small Business Saturday

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(BPT) - It's that time of year again, where people rush out of their homes to find gifts for family and friends. Those gifts are important, but your choice of where you buy those gifts holds power — power to grow your local community. You can make a huge difference with your dollars, supporting those who support your community or your values with each purchase. You can protect where your food comes from by filling your fridge wisely, or you can make a local business owner’s day by walking through the door of their shop on what has become commonly referred to as “Small Business Saturday.” And finding those opportunities can be easy when you look in the right places.

The holiday season is about more than just shopping for the best possible deal, it’s a way to celebrate and support the heart of our local economies. Let’s make this holiday season a win-win for you and your community with a few simple strategies:

Tip 1: Fill Your Fridge Wisely

We all need to eat, and every trip to the grocery store offers a new way to support small businesses. Did you know that many foods are distributed by groups of farmers that band together to create more equitable businesses and that those businesses are called cooperatives? That’s a simple explanation, but cooperatives are often an overlooked and convenient way to support small businesses in the grocery aisle. Instead of your dollars heading to one corporation or conglomerate this holiday season, consider spending your milk (or eggnog) money on food from the small businesses that own cooperatives.

For example, Organic Valley is a cooperative owned by small organic family farms. In fact, Organic Valley just welcomed over 70 more small family farms, all small businesses, into their cooperative this year. If you are selective in the grocery store this season, you can support those small organic family farms by choosing Organic Valley products. Other brands in the grocery store from different farmer-owned cooperatives include Florida’s Natural®, Ocean Spray®, Blue Diamond®, and many more.

Tip 2: Make Your Way to Mainstreet

Your own hometown is likely a treasure trove of local businesses, each offering warm welcomes and unique finds. These small businesses are the backbone of your community, providing a personal touch that's often missing in big-box stores. Many communities have a chamber of commerce that provides information about the businesses in your local community waiting for you to walk through the door. In fact, a quick Google search of “Chamber of Commerce Near Me” should do the trick.

One of the easiest ways to find a place to shop for Small Business Saturday is to get to the Mainstreet of your community and find businesses with Small Business Saturday marked on their door! This website is the hub of businesses participating in the official Small Business Saturday program taking place this Saturday, November 25.

Tip 3: Ask A Simple Question Online

You might be surprised at who owns or helps with small businesses in your area — it might just be your family and friends. Consider posting to your favorite social media platform an open question like, “What small business do you recommend I support this holiday season?” and watch the floodgates open. So many people have friends and family that have started interesting businesses, and you might be surprised at what you find.

Another online option is to ask that same question in a group dedicated to an interest you have. For instance, if you love to bake, ask a baking group on Facebook or Reddit that same question and find a whole new set of answers.

Tip 4: Attend Local Markets and Pop-Up Shops

The holiday season is the perfect time to check out local markets and pop-up shops in your area. These events are often organized to showcase local businesses and artisans. They provide a great opportunity to discover new products, meet the creators, and learn more about the stories behind their businesses. Attending these events not only supports the small businesses directly but also contributes to the local economy and community spirit.

By making your way to local brick-and-mortar businesses in your own community, choosing products from cooperatives, asking for recommendations online, and attending local markets, you're not just buying a product — you're investing in someone's dream and your community's future. Every purchase, no matter how small, can make a real difference.