Last year around this time I made a post called Small Business Saturday . That day (and in turn the post) was designed to encourage people to shop at small businesses. Actually, I had the extra emphasis on LOCAL businesses.This spring I wrote this post about how valuable your money is to the small business owner right down the street from you. Here’s the most important bit and the info came from the 3/50 project.
If half the employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue. For every $100 spent in locally owned independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll, etc. (and that’s true whether the item you purchase was made in the USA or China or anywhere else, for that matter.) If you spend the same $100 at a national chain store, only $43 stays in the community. If you spend it online, NOTHING returns to the community. Get That? NOTHING. Not A Penny.
This year I’d like to once again encourage everyone to shop locally for their holiday gifts and, actually, for everything you can! In honor of that, here are some of my favorite small businesses–most of which are local to where I live. However, sometimes people mistake “small” for “inaccessible” and these are nothing like that. Many have storefronts on line as well as real brick and mortar shops.
First of all there is City Lights Bookstore. I have life-long fond memories of shopping or just hanging out in the small owner-operated bookstore in my home town and while I will confess to shopping from time to time in one of those other, big chain book stores, I’ll always give my heart and my money to the local bookstore. The people are great, have wonderful recommendations, can order pretty much anything and they actually READ BOOKS.
Also, there is City Lights Cafe right down stairs and it’s no secret that this is one of my favorite places to eat. They have gift baskets, gift cards AND a new promotion to support shopping locally: free drinks with a receipt showing you bought stuff from a local businessowner.
It’s By Nature in downtown Sylva. There website is under construction but its got the hours and address. Wonderful locally crafted items. Stained glass, pottery, fiber art, wood art, photographs, paintings/sketches, etc etc etc. And occasionally a nice dog 🙂 Additionally, there are tons of other great places in Downtown Sylva and HERE is the list.
Then there is the Dillsboro Chocolate Factory. They are so good at what they do! And what they do is make some awesome chocolate stuffs! Fudge is the best–far and away!
Around the corner from the chocolate place is Treehouse Pottery. Not only are Travis and Joe, the potters who own the business, really talented, they are also right there in the building. Their studio and shop are all one room, so you see their work in process.
And one of my favorite hobbies is ceramics. I paint at Claymates in Dillsboro and it is fantastic place both to create a gift or to give a gift certificate for someone to exercise their creativity. They not only have ceramics to paint, they also have a really interesting glass work (not glass blowing–far easier!) section and various other things in the works.
There’s also lots of locally owned businesses to shop in that town as well, so rather than trying to cover them all, just go HERE.
This is really only a start–just the tip of the iceberg. Last year I did an all DIY Christmas and this year, I’m expanding it to DIY and/or locally purchased. I challenge everyone to purchase as much as they can in their local area from locally owned businesses this holiday season. It will make your whole community merry!