It’s also the time of year many of us start thinking about what we might do for others during the holiday season, ways to make our community better by volunteering or donating to a local non-profit. This year, I’m making a deal with myself to spend my entire holiday budget in my neighborhood with locally owned businesses.
"Big deal, so what?" you say? Considering that last year everything came from Amazon, I think it is.
Let’s be honest, it is easier to buy a tie for Uncle Joe online while sitting on the couch than fighting the traffic and parking at a local mall. But what if you tried looking for a tie for Uncle Joe at a neighborhood Farmers’ Market or craft sale?
You would get something unique as a gift and you’d be supporting that local businessperson. I have to think Uncle Joe will also enjoy a tie that has a story more—maybe you found out something interesting about the artisan who made it—than the same tie from Amazon that thousands of men were also unwrapping. And for you, the added enjoyment of strolling outdoors in our gorgeous fall weather looking at beautiful hand made things and fresh fruits and veggies.
How many times have you gone to have a meal or do some shopping at a favorite local place, only to find it
has “suddenly” gone out of business? Folks, that usually isn’t sudden; there are usually months of eking out some business, trying everything they know to make it work, lots of sleepless nights for the owner before they “suddenly” go out of business. When that happens to me, I have to ask myself: if I had made more of an effort to shop there instead going for the convenience of the big “we have it all” chain store, could it have made the difference? Would they still be in business?
That’s why this year I’m going out of my way to shop local for the holidays. Craft shows, the Farmers’ Market, local wineries and breweries are all great places to find something special for gift-giving. Most locally-owned restaurants will be glad to help you with a gift certificate and don’t forget local service providers. A massage, 2 hours of professional housecleaning or a mani-pedi are welcome gifts as well.
Readers, let’s make this the year Clairemont and Bay Park businesses see their local clientele increase. Let’s all try a new neighborhood place to eat, make a point of shopping every week at the Farmers’ Market, and look for what you need in the neighborhood first. If we all make the effort, we can help our local business community thrive and grow…and that’s good for all of us!
Happy Holidays Clairemont!
Janet K. Poutre