In the midst of a global pandemic, shopping small can have a huge impact on many people. It has a positive effect on the community, as well as the individuals running local small businesses. Why spend money on large corporations, when you could build relationships, save money, and help your local community by shopping small. The Local Good tells us that in addition to building these relationships with the shop owners and employees, spending money at these establishments helps to boost your local economic stimulus. Buying from local small businesses results in more money being kept within the community, because these small shops often buy from other small shops in the area. The environmental impact is significantly reduced, because these shops often set up in a central town location, allowing the residents of that town to walk instead of drive to go shopping, which cuts down on air pollution, habitat loss, and overall congestion. Customer service is also so much better when interacting with these businesses, because they often love their community and are more likely to be nice to you because they will see you day after day. Our Town American puts it nicely, “there’s something special about knowing the owner of the store when you walk in. You can ask about family, congratulate them on their anniversary, and feel the comfort of familiarity.”
Fundera.com lists a few statistics on shopping small which includes the following. Small businesses also employ around 58.9 million people. These shops are crucial to our world because they are home to literally millions of employees. If these businesses didn’t exist there would be many unemployed citizens. These businesses with less than 500 employees account for 99.7% of all us employers. If we didn’t have these small shops, our economy would struggle. Over 9.3 billion dollars would be directly returned to our economy if every US family spent just $10 a month at a local business. Just by looking at these couple statistics, we can see how much of an impact the economy truly endures from the success of these businesses. That is why it is so important to spend your money by shopping small and keeping these places in business. It is extremely sad to see how many of them are currently going out of business due to the effects of COVID-19. My family and I personally try to buy take-out food from the local restaurants and café’s in our area to help as much as we can. We are building relationships with the owners and employees, which is super rewarding.
As well as the physical locations in our area, I know a decent amount of people in my area who have taken to Instagram to buy and re-sell clothes as a part of the thrifting community. These accounts have become a huge phenomenon in the young adult community. The owners of the shops buy second-hand clothing, and flip it to either make it trendier or keep it as is, and then upload pictures of the pieces on their Instagram page, with a description of the item in the caption. They list a starting bid, and then a “buy it now” price. Buyers comment their bid, increasing each bid by at least one dollar, or they can comment “bin” to buy it right away from a bit of a higher price. One of my close friends Amber Martin, runs a very successful thrifting account called @ivorymirth. When asked about the small business community and why she loves it, Martin says “you’re not purchasing from a big corporation, you’re purchasing from a person, a family or a friend. Your purchase MEANS something. Your purchase makes a difference. When you purchase from a small business, someone does a little happy dance.” She loves what she does, and has met so many other “thrifters” with the same passion that she possesses. Amber spends countless hours sourcing online for clothes tailored to what her followers/buyers want as well as the sizes they need. She currently sells to almost 9,000 people, and her following continues to rise daily. She researches, buys, takes try-on pictures, edits, and uploads items every single day. While this is not her main source of income, during this pandemic, it is crucial for her to continue working hard on her Instagram page so she can continue to make money. Shopping small is something she values and holds close to her heart.