Here’s Why You Should Shop Local During The Holidays

By: Brianna Rhodes

‘Tis the season for holiday shopping and sales! With Small Business Saturday around the corner, now is the time to buy gifts for your loved ones for the holiday season. And there’s no better way to get the job done than to shop local at your favorite minority and women-owned businesses in the DMV. 

According to an article by Online Dasher, shoppers are anticipated to spend $6.04 trillion in local stores this year. This number is no surprise since local businesses offer a wide array of gifts for customers. Gifts can range from trendy clothes and jewelry to sweet treats and perfumes. And to top it all off, most of these items are custom-made, which makes gift-giving extra special.

Customers should shop local during the holidays because it benefits them and keeps money in their community. According to Capital One Shopping, local retailers retain 289% more revenue for the local economy than chain stores, which fosters job stability for entrepreneurs and employees. Shopping at local stores also helps customers develop relationships with store owners, building a sense of community. The more you visit their stores, the more you’ll get to know them. Plus, it’s special to walk into a store where people greet you like family. That makes the shopping experience even better.

Another value of local shopping is it helps creatives and entrepreneurs get the much-needed exposure they deserve. Creating products takes time, money, and effort, which means many talented artists value community support. Since some creatives and entrepreneurs start their businesses from scratch, they usually sell their items at pop-up shops and markets, or partner with local storefront businesses to sell their products. So, when you shop locally, you give them the support they need to grow their business. Plus, when you buy from small businesses, you’re helping them gain exposure and attract more customers. It’s always important to give local creatives the time to shine.

Shopping locally also reduces stress about shopping in a big crowd at retail stores or dealing with online shopping and shipping hassles. When you shop in person, you can get your gifts in real time without worrying about the delivery date. Even if you decide a gift isn’t a great fit, you can easily return it to the local store and exchange it instead of shipping it back to an online retailer. 

Last but not least, good customer service goes a long way during the holiday season. Since people are doing last-minute shopping and stores are usually packed, it can be hard to experience good interactions with retail employees since they’re always busy and working overtime. Instead, local retailers are known for offering personalized customer service. They usually take the time to help make your shopping experience one-of-a-kind by answering questions and sometimes offering you recommendations, exclusive deals, and discounts. 

Based on the reasons above, shopping local for the holidays gives shoppers a unique experience and gifts. You can help grow your community and support entrepreneurs to help them thrive, and that should be the greatest gift of all this holiday season.

If you’re looking for some cool gift ideas, please check out EWOC Center Holiday Gift Guide. You can view a list of options from some of our favorite minority and women-owned businesses here.

If you want to support more local businesses in the area, check out a few holiday markets you can shop at for the holiday season:

  1. What: Umoja Market
    When: Saturday, December 16th, 2023
    Time: 10:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.
    Where: Anacostia Arts Center
  1. What: Heurich Christmas Markt 
    When: Friday, Dec. 1, 2023 to Sunday, Dec. 3, 2023
    Time: 4:00 p.m. 
    Where: Heurich House Museum
  1. What: EWI’s 10th Holiday Market
    When: Sunday, Dec. 10, 2023
    Time: 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Where: Silver Spring Civic Center
  1. What: Procrastinator’s Holiday Market 
    When: Saturday, Dec. 16, 2023
    Time: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    Where: Kraken Kourts & Skates, 514 Rhode Island Avenue, NE
  1. What: Ìpàdé’s Holiday Market 
    When: Saturday, Dec. 2, 2023
    Time: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
    Where: 1734 20th Street Northwest Washington, DC 20009
  1. What: 2023 Winter Chalet Shops
    When: Friday, December 1 -17th – Friday – Sunday
    Time: 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
    Where: Corner of Wisconsin and M Street in Georgetown

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