By Mary Ferguson
Manager, Accounting Services
The holiday season tends to sneak up on us. We always say we’re going to prepare in advance, but those jingle bells start ringing before we know it, and we end up following the herd to the mall or Amazon. It’s still early, so you have time to do something different this year that we heartily recommend as a small Hoosier business — shop local!
Sure, you could go to a crowded entertainment store and nervously, hurriedly leaf through vinyl records. Or you could go to a flea market and discover rare, retro treasures among the trendier stuff. You could wait in a long line at Starbucks or Dunkin’ for a gift card — or you could get one from a mom-and-pop coffee shop your loved ones have yet to visit.
Shopping locally isn’t just a way to save time and money. It’s a means of meeting new people, discovering new things and becoming more engaged in your community. Isn’t that also part of what the holidays are about? There’s nothing wrong with shopping at the mall or big-chain department stores, but they run like well-oiled machines. They’re focused on getting people in and out. Shopping at a small, family-owned store can be a more personal, memorable experience.
Sponsel CPA Group started with just four partners and a small team of employees. As we first began acquiring clients, it felt like we were forming special relationships. Local business owners understand and appreciate how precious new customers can be. Some of those first business transactions lead to lifelong partnerships.
And if that doesn’t sway you to the local side, here are some statistics:
- Small businesses generate a $68 local economic return for every $100 customers spend with them.
- If every family in the US spent just $10 a month at a local business, more than $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy.
- Small businesses donate 250% more than large businesses to community causes.
- Local businesses generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big box stores.
Take a detour from the big stores this holiday season, and discover a whole new world.