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Dec 09, 2022 Erin Crowley

4 Reasons to Support Brick and Mortar Small Businesses This Holiday Season

4 Reasons to Support Brick and Mortar Small Businesses This Holiday Season

In 2022, it’s admittedly difficult to make the argument not to shop online. There are just about a million reasons to checkout from home: 24/7 access to your favorite stores; fast and transparent price scanning; and countless options for anything on your shopping list. 

The convenience of same-day delivery is attractive, but even the best online shoppers can admit there’s nothing like shopping in-store. And that's where you'll meet some of the economy’s most inspiring entrepreneurs: America's small business owners.

It's easy to shop big-box, but where are those dollars going? Small business E-commerce marketplace goodbuy estimates that over 70% of all US online spending goes directly into the pockets of 15 mega-retailers. Meanwhile the Small Business Administration estimates that small business owners generally self-fund $2,000 to $5,000 while getting started. And they don't typically see profit until years two or three

You can shop small this winter and still grab all the gifts you need for your family and friends. Here are four reasons to support your local brick and mortar small businesses this holiday season! 

1. Create and capture meaningful memories

Visits to classic penny candy stores, tchotchke shops, and mom-and-pop stores remind us of our fondest childhood memories. It’s no secret that brick and mortar shopping experiences create lasting memories for the whole family. Massachusetts-based photographer Ken Berman actually built a small business around capturing memories. 

The second-generation photographer grew up in Sharon, MA, admiring his father’s eye for photography until he was old enough to find and use the shutter himself. In 1990, the passionate photographer and self-proclaimed “townie” opened up his own studio right on Pond Street in Sharon.

He's enjoyed photographing weddings, engagements, reunions, and other celebrations for the families of Sharon for over 30 years. “It wasn’t easy,” Ken laughs, reflecting on the early days getting started on his business venture, “As most small businesses start out, you don’t have much.” According to Ken, the secret to success is authentic passion, “There’s certainly no money to throw around. So you’ve got to get it all going on your own. But if you love what you do, you’re never working. And I love what I do!” You can learn more about Ken's portfolio on his website. 

Whether you’re looking for custom artwork, framed goods, family portraits, or other creative services, consider supporting a local, independent artist this holiday season. 

2. Small businesses enhance the character of your city or town 

Small businesses add tremendous amounts of community pride and character to cities and towns. Just take the Brown and Hopkins Country Store in Chepachet, RI, for example! 

The gorgeous, old-fashioned general store has been around since 1809 and it’s a must-see for anyone visiting the ocean state. A lifelong dream of owning the historic store came full circle for Rhode Island resident and current shop owner, Elizabeth Yuill, when she purchased the building in 2004. 

Though the 200-year-old store has changed a bit over the years, elements of its original architecture reveal the shop’s rich past. “I am certainly honored to be the current shopkeeper of such a piece of history,” Elizabeth shares, “To own a circa 1799 building and store that has stood the test of time, including the Great Depression, feels unreal at times.”

The restored hardwood floors and exposed wooden beams remind visitors that the shop itself is a long-standing piece of Rhode Island’s history. Old-school details like penny candy shelves and restored wooden tables are now home to gourmet foods and cooking utensils, luxury candles, faux florals, and all types of trinkets and decorations.

But owning a small business requires a lot more work than managing a couple of employees or reordering supplies. “Running a small business, especially a retail business, takes a lot of hard work, perseverance, and heart,“ Elizabeth shares, “And an amazing team of talent to support the mission. This store wouldn't be what it is without my talented staff.” 

Elizabeth’s team works meticulously to design and stage themed displays for their loyal customers. “I feel it boils down to the in-person, daily interactions with customers, many who become friends,” Elizabeth shares, “Those who tell me it is their ‘happy place’ and how it is such a stress reliever to walk into Brown & Hopkin’s and leave with a special gift for a friend, or some new Faux Florals to beautify their home. The love and support shown to the store makes my team and I so happy and thankful.” Stop by Brown and Hopkins next time you're in Chepachet!

3. Reinvest in your local economy

Small businesses create jobs. From those stocking shelves, to cashiers, to general managers: the staff helping you at your favorite small business are typically friendly faces from your community! When you support a small business, what you spend directly supports the company and its employees. 

American Express estimates that for every dollar spent at a small business, $0.67 stays in the local community through payroll and taxes.  Keeping those tax dollars within your community’s infrastructure helps all of us: think improvements to public roads, buildings, and school systems. Everybody wins!

Besides checking in with your local chamber of commerce, consider using Google’s “Shopping Near Me” feature to see what’s available closest to you. If a local, small business offers the product you’re looking for, you may be able to grab it in person! 

4. Impress loved ones with thoughtful, uniquely curated gifts

Don’t run the risk of showing up to your gift swap with an unoriginal Amazon best-seller. There are small businesses selling car accessories, to luxury bath and beauty products, to books and knick-knacks–there’s something out there for everyone. You can even shop small online using e-commerce marketplaces for small businesses! 

Wondering about a certain store? Check out some customer reviews on social media or the shop website before you pay a visit. For local buzz and authentic reviews, consider joining your community’s local Facebook group for the full scoop on the best local businesses. 

Full-service payroll small businesses can trust

At ConnectPay, we study and understand small business payroll and tax laws so small business owners can focus on core services. Have a question about payroll? Get connected with us today. We’re ConnectPay: the small business payroll specialists.

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Published by Erin Crowley December 9, 2022