It happened. The holidays are here. Thanksgiving came and went faster than a warm apple pie. To make sure you knew it was over, we were inundated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday emails, social media posts, and stories on the news. The 2022 holiday shopping bonanza has begun!
It is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of holiday shopping, especially when our emails are filled with enticing savings if we ‘purchase on-line before midnight.’ But we lose a personal touch in the frenzy. In the midst of this past weekend, it was “Small Business Saturday,” which encourages buying local and supporting small businesses. It is understandable if you did not know of it.
Larger stores have larger budgets and the ability to make sure their marketing messaging is getting to you easily. What that means for us is that if we want to “buy local” we need to work a little harder at it. But it is worth it.
Buying local and supporting small businesses is at the core of our local economy and is such an important part of what makes Greenwich, well, Greenwich. If we did not have stores such as Sophia’s, McArdle’s, Dogwood Books, and many others, the feel of our community would be very different indeed.
One of the great things about having a community paper is the opportunity to really get to know our local business community. It is diverse. From financial services to real estate, to the local Mom & Pop stores – they all work in tandem to ensure our local economy keeps chugging along. Our retail businesses and restaurants are the heartbeat of that economic engine. It is important we support them.
Did you know that for every $100 you spend in a local small business, $68 remains in the community in the form of taxes and ancillary spending? This is a good thing because it enriches the entire business community, gives people jobs and is even good for the environment. When you buy local you tend to develop a relationship with those establishments you frequent which leads to better customer service and experience. We have all been frustrated by calling an 800 number to return a poorly purchased item, been transferred four different times only to give up and re-gift the item for someone’s birthday.
When you purchase an item online, it may be quicker, but it does nothing to help the local economy. Shopping locally also has the benefit of raising property values. Vibrant neighborhood shopping areas like Cos Cob are an advantage when selling your home because it makes your home more valuable. It also strengthens our community. Local businesses are often owned by people who live in our town, go to our churches and synagogues, donate to Kids in Crisis and coach little league teams. When we shop locally, we are supporting our neighbors.
Local businesses also give a community its personality. You can visit almost any town in the country and find a McDonald’s that sells the same burger you can get at the McDonald’s here in Greenwich, but nowhere else will you get a lobster slider as mouthwatering good as at Orienta. You can order from Amazon, but if you want to ensure you little ballerina’s Pointe Shoes fit properly you should visit Beam & Barre. The combined presence of our town’s many local businesses makes Greenwich different from every other town, not just in the country, but in the world. By supporting local businesses, you are ensuring that uniqueness is preserved as part of our community. And it’s not just the retail and restaurants. Visiting weekly Farmer’s Markets is a great way to support agriculture in our state, to get fresh, locally grown produce. Does your child want green eggs? You cannot get them at a supermarket, but you can at a farmer’s market.
This holiday season we hope you will think local and buy local. Happy shopping.