It is often said that when local businesses start shouting "Shop Local", it's because no-one is. And this year, it's worse than ever.
To be honest, this is the first year that we at Hugs for Kids are sitting back and actually thinking about what 2019 will bring...and if there will be anything.
So before you venture out to the big shopping centres this year, take a look at your local shops as you drive past. What will next year look like if they're not there?
Here's 6 really good reasons why shopping local is important to everyone - not just the store owners.
Support Your Local Economy
For every dollar spent in a big store, you’re encouraging more same-same shops to join the neighbourhood. But when you spend your dollars in a local store or on a local experience, you’re keeping originality and creativity thriving.
For every $100 spent at local business $68 stays in the local economy. Compare that to $43 for big box retailers.
Avoid Awkward Gift Swaps
Do you and your family all buy gifts from Myer or Kmart? How awkward would it be to unwrap a mass-produced present that you’ve just wrapped for them? By shopping local, you avoid the risk of buying the same stuff for each other, and ensure there’s no returning on Boxing Day.
Stores closer to home offer delicious local produce, handicrafts and artwork from local artists, and original experiences you just can’t buy in a big department store.
Impress Family and Friends
Are you a competitive gift-giver at Christmas? Do you love the grin on someone’s face when they open something truly exceptional? Well, look no further than your local neighbourhood.
By shopping locally for gifts this Christmas, you can wow family and friends with the type of presents they just can’t get anywhere else.
Do your parents love special nights out together? Why not grab a voucher to a really cool restaurant? Is your sister big on fitness? Grab a yoga gift certificate or a paintball experience for her and some friends.
Maybe your kids have a unique sense of style? Stop into your local kids store for some original gifts. You’ll be everyone’s favourite Santa Claus on Christmas!
Shopping Local Creates Jobs
If you stick to your local neighbourhood this festive season, not only are you scooping cool gifts for friends and family, you’re keeping plenty of locals in much-loved jobs.
By keeping things close to home, you’re giving small, thriving businesses the chance to grow, and helping their job opportunities grow as well. And by encouraging creative store owners, you’ll find more original shops popping up in no time.
In fact, did you know that in the U.S, an estimated 14 jobs are created for every $10 million in consumer spending at Amazon. On the flip side, about 57 jobs are created for the same amount spent locally. Small business matters because small businesses employ our neighbours.
Support Your Local Community
Local businesses donate far more per sales dollar to local non-profits, events and teams as compared to national chains.
Local businesses donate prizes, they sponsor teams and they participate in events. Without them, who will provide you with donations for your fundraisers?
Products Are Often Unique
While chain stores are busy stocking shelves based on national consumer demands, our local shops are stocking shelves based on what locals love based on real-time feedback.
What's not to like?