Make an impact, shop locally for the holidays

by Luis Franco, senior loan specialist, Center for Rural Affairs

The holiday season is right around the corner and it comes with great news.

According to a Gallup survey, 74 percent of holiday shoppers said they expect to pay about the same amount or more on holiday gifts this year compared to last. Moreover, 23 percent of shoppers said they choose one retailer over another because they want to support small and local businesses in their community.

Small businesses are essential to rural America. When buying from local small businesses, you are supporting your community in more ways than one. The money you spend stays in the community, which supports other businesses, helps create jobs, drives economic growth, and contributes to the area’s overall well-being.

Also, consider the environmental impact of avoiding long-distance trips to purchase gifts, not to mention the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with local entrepreneurs.

Local businesses often prioritize providing a positive customer experience, as they rely on word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business to stay afloat. With greater attention to detail, a willingness to go above and beyond, and a focus on creating a welcoming and friendly environment, small businesses can make holiday shopping a breeze.

As you plan your gift-giving this holiday season, think about your community. Get out and explore the local shops, look for pop-up events such as craft shows and holiday markets, and read your local newspaper and scroll through social media as many entrepreneurs take to the platforms to advertise their goods.

The gifts you purchase this holiday season will not only make your friends and family feel loved, they will empower your community. Where you spend your money today could determine what your community looks like a year or even five years from now.

Small entrepreneurs and business owners have been working hard to prepare for the holiday season. Now, it’s time to do your part.

Established in 1973, the Center for Rural Affairs is a private, non-profit organization working to strengthen small businesses, family farms and ranches, and rural communities through action oriented programs addressing social, economic, and environmental issues.


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