This time of year brings an increase in consumption habits due to the commercialization of the holidays. It’s important to be conscious of where you are spending your hard earned money.
When considering where to spend your money, small businesses are a perfect option. In the spirit of gratitude and compassion, shopping at small, local businesses is an act of generosity to the businesses owners.
Supporting these businesses in your community can also help boost the local economy. Small businesses provide jobs and bring in revenue that circulates within the area. This helps to provide local sales tax which funds education initiatives, city parks and other public services in your region.
Small businesses have always been the heart of the American economic system. When you shop local, your money goes back into the community and into the hands of hardworking families, as opposed to the wallets of greedy corporate owners.
Another benefit of shopping local is that many items you purchase will be unique and made with care — something that is absent from big box stores with commercialized products. Supporting small businesses allows for business owners to continue to not only create their products, but also to maintain their storefronts and livelihoods.
Amidst the chaos that Black Friday and Cyber Monday bring to consumers, a little day of appreciation is set aside for small business — Small Business Saturday, held annually on the day after Black Friday. On this holiday, local businesses are able to promote their storefronts and offer deals that help attract more customers in their communities.
Supporting small businesses also helps to create more communal, local shopping options perfect for getting to know more people in your community. These businesses can act as a gathering place for the community and strengthen ties in the area between both patrons and workers.
As UW Tacoma students, we have the ability to use our consumer spending for a good use every day. There is a multitude of stores and businesses that line Pacific Avenue with a mix of both corporate and small businesses.
Next time you want to grab a coffee before class, consider buying from Metro Coffee or Anthem Coffee rather than Starbucks. Or if you have a little money to spare for lunch, head down to Savor Creperie instead of Subway. The price comparison between the local businesses and the corporate ones is not much different, but many of the local businesses offer student discounts — including Anthem and the Creperie.
These small changes we make as consumers can make a great impact. Your support of small businesses could help provide livelihoods for people within the community and provide revenue to your local economy.
When dropping money for the holidays, shopping local will be sure to leave you with a much better feeling, especially in the holiday spirit of giving.
Alyssa majors in urban studies and community development. She is interested in and concerned about issues in Tacoma that impact the community. She is obsessed with all things chocolate and piggies.