Oops I did it again.
As I always do when the Holidays come, I make a list of everyone I need to shop for. My kids, nieces & nephews, my boyfriend, etc. As my behavior dictates, I’m chilling out on my couch at 8 pm on a weeknight, have my Chrome browser opened up on the laptop and start typing “amaz…”. You know where I am going with this.
It should be listed as a medical condition I swear.
I add items on discount to my cart… Patriots shirt for my nephew, a Lego “Friends” set for my niece, I can’t forget my co-workers, let’s toss in some items here for them. Next thing you know I’m hitting “Submit Your Order” and I will see the Smiley boxes land on my door step in less than two days. No crowds, no parking issues, no screaming kids. I can move on to more important things like…cleaning my house. (Insert “meh” emoji here.)
After I complete my shopping fest much earlier than I have in prior holiday years, I start seeing “Shop Small” posts from local businesses I follow on Facebook along with sponsored posts from AmEx about the Shop Small initiative. I proceed to give myself a Captain Picard Facepalm and realized that this year was to be the year that I wanted to participate in that. Here is the ugly truth. My life is so busy that I never to think to shop local because I am always on the go. Target! Stop and Shop! Barnes & Noble! It’s a never-ending cycle of supporting the big corporations! At least that is what I use for a sad excuse.
Local businesses are ALL AROUND us!
Is that an excuse? No of course not. I HAVE the time to shop local. Not even just during “Shop Small Saturday,” but ALL YEAR ROUND! We all do! We just have to make the time. Farmers Markets now-a-days, for example offer up more than just fruits and veggies. Vendors such as bakeries selling pies and cakes, bee-keepers offering up a variety of honey, butchers selling meats such as pork chops and bacon, gift shops…EVERYTHING! And these vendors sometimes have a retail store to visit.
Here are some cool facts about how local businesses help out Massachusetts communities:
- There are currently 639,334 local businesses in operation in MA.1
- These businesses make up 99.50% of all businesses in MA.1
- 34,568 jobs were created in MA during 2014 with 46.80% of these employees working for a small business.1
When you think that saying Shop Local is just a fad? Check out this blog from shopkeep.com, they break down just how much a small business impacts YOUR community.
My personal shop local challenge!
So here is MY mission in Grafton, the town I reside in. We have some GREAT shops that I need to frequent a lot more!
The long-time staple of the Grafton Common has been the Grafton Country Store. With its eclectic gift shop and tasty ice cream and coffee in their Cafe, I am trying to figure out WHY on earth it took me 10 years of even stepping foot in the store!?
If you are looking for a great hostess gift of a cheese & meat board paired with a tasty wine, check out Pecorino’s! I have yet to go there, BUT I need to make this my mission. Nothing to me is better than CHEESE and I’ve heard the owner knows her stuff! Everyone I know that has been there has raved about it!
Right next door is a brick-oven pizza restaurant called Anzio’s. Again, I personally have not been here yet, but I have friends who have and they love it. Looking to go in the near future with some friends!
And last but definitely not least is an adorable store where you can find carefully acquired antiques as well as handmade gifts from local artisans. Off the Common Antiques has recently opened and I HAVE been here. Once you think you’ve seen everything, this deceivingly small store keeps going. I need to go back!
I think I know what one of 2018 New Year’s resolutions is, but why wait!? There is no need to. If you haven’t started YOUR holiday shopping, don’t forget to shop local as much as you can!
Thanks for reading! (And stay tuned for a follow up story about me actually following through on my shop local promise!)
- Gathered from https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/impact?state=MA: Based on data from the Office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profiles, which are annual analyses of each state’s small business activities that gather the latest information from key federal data-gathering agencies to provide a snapshot of small business health and economic activity. In this Report, “Small Business” is defined as a firm employing fewer than 500 employees. See: https://www.sba.gov/advocacy/2017-small-business-profiles-states-and-territories.