As I ventured into the world of business ownership through the eyes of a mom, I became much more aware of how my pwn personal business can help or hurt another small company and how wonderful it is to support small businesses.
I try to give my business to those who are not in the national headlines on a regular basis. I recall growing up in rural West Virginia, on top of the Appalachians, where we didn’t have the standard grocery store chains but instead a local market. Named Mountaintop Grocery, we called it by the owner’s last name because, well, that’s how we knew it.
In our town, it was all the rage when the video store first opened. We’d never had one of those before, and up until that time had to tempt fate when it came to what we would watch on our little black and white. You never knew how hard the winds might be blowing or the snow might be falling, and you were out of luck if the day was bad and you were stuck inside because chances are you would get only one channel and that would come in fuzzy. Then came the video store. Yet it was not a national chain that we all know by name, but instead was opened by my friend’s parents in a small building next to another small market owned by, of course, some friends of ours.
That was the beauty of living in a small town: People opened companies and the town supported those companies. I’m sure it is still this way today. I live in a large city and unfortunately find it much harder to scout out these businesses, though I try.
So perhaps my affinity for small businesses goes back a long way, which is why I love putting my money where it will be needed the most: In the hands of someone who is running their own small shop.
You have probably already purchased most of your gifts for this holiday season, unless you are a true procrastinator. But as you prepare for the new year, consider making it a point to do most of your business with a small business. Not sure where to look? There are some great indie shops, mother owned companies and mom and pop stores in your hometown as well as online. Being aware of this makes it much easier to find a small company. Make an effort as you go to the store to find a store that is not a chain. You’ll most likely get wonderful personal service and you will be supporting a neighbor in your community, which in turn will strengthen your community.
CNN recently ran an article about places to shop in support of indie artisans. You can view some of the wares here.
Are you an indie artisan? I’ve frequented a great little website for a few years now that focuses on women-owned indie companies. On it you can read articles, find a small company with whom to shop or join the forum for question asking and informational topics.