Eight Reasons to Buy Local for Holiday Gifts
Buying gifts from local businesses, artists or craftspeople has many advantages
The holiday season is quickly approaching, and chances are, you still have some gift buying to engage in. Before you run to the nearest Walmart® or whip out your smartphone to browse Amazon® for ideas, think about what's nearby in your neighborhood. There are numerous reasons to buy local.
1. Unique products
Shopping at a local small business gives you an opportunity to buy something that you're less likely to find at a big box store or through a major retailer. It's a chance to buy someone in your life something unique that they might never expect, which will make the gift all the more special.
2. It shows more thought
Buying a gift locally, either from your own town, a town where the recipient lives, or from another place that is somehow meaningful, such as a previous vacation spot, shows that you're putting some thought into the gift that you're giving. It takes more effort to physically go to a shop and buy a unique or meaningful product than it does to pull up Amazon on your phone and tap to buy it and have it delivered.
3. A more personal touch
A small business is likely to provide good customer service, including helping you choose exactly the right gift. They’ll also be more responsive if you need to return an item later. Given that they are part of the community, they'll want to keep a good reputation with their neighbors, since they depend on positive word of mouth.
4. Artists need your support
Art can make a great gift, and there are usually artists in your local community who could greatly use your support. Most artists aren't able to make a full-time living at their art, but many would like to be able to do what they love to make ends meet. By purchasing arts and crafts from local artists and craftspeople, you can help them continue to create interesting pieces while giving a friend or loved one an interesting and thoughtful gift.
5. Good for the local economy
Of course, artists aren't the only ones who can benefit from local patronage. Shopping local is good for the local economy. You're keeping the money within your community, and chances are, the business you buy from is doing what it can to help the local economy thrive, as well.
6. Small businesses give character to their towns
There is something to be said about what small businesses contribute to the personality of a town or city. Whether you're frequenting a local diner or shopping at an antique store, by supporting these businesses, you're helping this tradition continue.
J.D. Roth at Get Rich Slowly put this well: "I believe that small, locally-owned businesses give character to a community. They improve its quality of life. Yes, every Starbucks you walk into is the same, and this makes a lot of people comfortable. But I like that independent coffee shops (or record stores or comic shops or bookstores) have a unique feel."1
7. You can give an experience
By thinking local when you're doing your gift purchasing, you can give someone a special experience that they'll remember for years to come, rather than just a material item that may or may not last. Think concert tickets for a musical group the person likes, if they are playing at a venue within driving distance. Take a look at any local event that will resonate with the recipient. In addition to a great gift, you'll be supporting that local venue, not to mention the performers who count on attendance to make their own livings.
Finally, local goods or services may just be a practical gift to give someone, especially a senior or someone on a fixed income. You could give a gas card, a gift card to a local car wash or meal delivery service, a gift certificate for a landscaping or home repair business, or even an Uber® or Lyft® card if they don't drive.
There are lots of reasons to think local when you're buying your gifts this holiday season. If you struggle to come up with ideas year after year, shopping local can open up many options, while providing a more meaningful gift exchange. It can also make holiday shopping a more enjoyable experience for the gift giver, allowing you to meet local shopkeepers and artisans face to face.
The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice. Any views expressed in this article may not necessarily be those of Nevada State Bank, a division of Zions Bancorporation, N.A. Member FDIC