The “shop local” movement has become a stronger and more important message over the years, but this year due to the pandemic, that message is of even more importance. Small business owners are only a small sector of society that have been impacted by COVID-19 related closures/new guidelines, but the impact the crisis has had on their passion and their business model affects their local community. Although all business and economic stimulation is a positive thing, small businesses offer a crucial aid to local, state, and the national economies. For each dollar you spend at independent businesses returns 3x more money to your local economy than one spent at a chain store.
During the months of “Safer at Home”, local downtown businesses quickly pivoted and adapted to make sure they were providing you with safe ways to continue shopping with them. Many turned to online or curbside pick up options; many got creative with Facebook and were selling directly from their social media pages. The community jumped on the shop local movement and helped carry many of those small businesses through the difficulty of having their storefronts closed to customers.
Once “Safer at Home” was lifted, small businesses again quickly pivoted, now offering every type of shopping experience: online, by appointment, masks/cleaning protocols, and so much more. These extra measures have been costly for a small business, but they are more than willing to invest to ensure the safety of customers and to do what they love most…keep bringing the community quality service, products, and that unique local shopping experience.
However, they still need YOU, the community, to keep shopping and supporting local. While storefronts are now open, that does not mean they no longer need your support; sales and revenue are even more critical for these shops now. These local businesses are the heartbeat to our community and give Downtown Appleton the character we love!
So, the ask to you today and every day is to support a local business. Stop by a local shop in Downtown Appleton purchase that birthday gift you need, or a little something special for yourself. Hop on to their Facebook pages or websites to shop online or schedule a private shopping experience. These small businesses are here for you to make your shopping comfortable and will work with you to make that happen!
It is now our turn to be there for them…shop local, support local, and keep these local businesses thriving so the community we live in can also continue to thrive.