where stories are told
11/15/2019 0 Comments
I consider myself to be somewhat of a frugal person. I love thrifting, I love a good bargain. But beyond that, I do love to shop in unique, local businesses and restaurants too. I feel like, especially when traveling, you can never really experience the destination until you've had local, fresh cuisine or been into local shops. There's just nothing like it. You can go to McDonald's anywhere, but you may never have the opportunity to eat a meal like what's being served up in that restaurant over there ever again!
But, I also know that shopping small and local can be more expensive than say, getting something at a major store or online. I get it. Trust me.
But hear me out. The reason why small businesses typically have higher prices is because they simply cannot compete with the volume and crazy low prices of other huge stores. Their overhead is more expensive- they've got rent and insurance to pay, taxes, and they've got to supply products- all while still making a profit. They usually offer much higher quality- sometimes even handmade- items. These are not produced in a factory and by a machine. These are made by real people- your neighbors and friends, right here in the good ol' USA. It doesn't get any more American than that. Small businesses are real Americans chasing after their American dream. So when you shop small, you are literally making someone's dream come true. That money is staying right here in your community and supporting YOUR local economy. Or, in my case, I'm a photographer. When someone chooses me over a big box store/company- my heart SOARS! I consider it an honor to document people's memories and provide them with beautiful printed products from their session.
I've also found that local businesses are more likely to work with you if you need help or need something in a pinch. Like I said, these are real people. They are compassionate and hard working. If you forgot an important event and need the perfect gift last minute, I bet they will get you what you need! I've done this several times!
However, if you are unable to financially support small businesses, I have come up with a few ways that you CAN support your friends and neighbors that don't cost a dime. These are easy to do and only take a second.
Please consider shopping small each and every day, not just around the holidays. Remember, when you shop small, you are making someone's dream a REALITY.
Jess is a photographer serving families located in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia. She specializes in documentary and storytelling photography.
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