Why It’s Important To Support Small Businesses
I am a small business owner. I make and sell hand embroidered goods and home decor through my business, Thread Fox Handmade Goods which I opened in 2017. My in-laws run a small thrift store in central Illinois. My husband is a part time freelance graphic designer. My dad was a self-employed land surveyor when I was growing up. My grandfather is an accountant. My sister has been a hair stylist out of her home for years, my brother is a hemp farmer, and I have countless other family members and friends who have made their living, either partly or in full, by running their own small businesses. Doulas, stylists, jewelry artists, painters, photographers, nannies, designers, baristas, musicians, the list goes on. Hell, Candor is a small business and there are countless persons working to make it the thriving success it’s been becoming.
But in the age of Amazon, online shopping and instant gratification, why is it still so important to support “the little guy?” After all, their prices are often much higher than a similar product you could find at Target, many artists *gasp* charge shipping on their products! The horror! So why give them your money? I’m glad you asked!
1. You know where your money goes
Sure, a portion of your purchase often goes to miscellaneous costs like materials, taxes, etc. but you KNOW where the rest of your money goes (and it’s not to a greedy, multi-billionaire CEO). And that money directly supports the proprietor you just paid.
2. Your purchase supports families
Many small business owners support their families, in part or fully, with the income from their business. Your support isn’t just lining someone’s pocket. It’s paying for school tuition. It’s putting food on the table. It’s going toward medical bills and house payments and braces and shoes that will be too small on their preteen son in two months. For so many self employed individuals, their business isn’t just a hobby, it’s a means of survival.
3. You are supporting a true craft
While this may seem to only apply to the “crafty hobbyists” you may know, this goes across the board to any business person who has dedicated their time to their skill and share it with the public. Your support goes to a quality product or service, not something mass marketed in a factory or reproduced in chain stores everywhere. Their art is made with passion. It took time and energy and care. Their services are carefully planned out, carried out with you, your preferences and past visits remembered. No matter what, you just won’t find that same quality or individuality from a decorative wall hanging at Walmart or a walk-in visit at Cost Cutters.
Supporting small business owners is so important. We used to live in a time where supporting a small business was the norm, not the rarity. The local grocery store was family owned, your clothes came from seamstresses in your own town, produce and meat came from farmers and delis and butcher shops. Now, it may feel like you have to work a little harder in order to support those who work a little harder. So additionally, we’d like to help and point out how you can support these self owned establishments
Ask. Like. Share.
Ask your friends if they have a small business or a craft that you can support. Ask them what small businesses they love supporting. Ask your friends who makes home decor before going to Hobby Lobby. Ask your friends who provides tax services before going to H&R Block.
Many small businesses are internet bound now. Many of them get the majority of their traffic and income from word of mouth (or rather word of tags). Like your friend’s pages. Share their business profiles. Suggest them to friends when they’re in need of goods or services.
DO NOT SHORT CHANGE SMALL BUSINESSES
I seriously cannot stress this enough. Do not ask for favors or a “friends and family discount”. Do not expect products for free. Do not question their prices.
Do pay in full for what you receive. Do tip whenever humanly possible. Do ask, like and share as stated above.
There is nothing more gut wrenching, maddening and frustrating than individuals who assume that because you create your own prices for your products that you can adjust them at will in the name of whatever relationship is between you. There is nothing more infuriating when you are berated for your prices or rates when you curated them carefully to include cost, energy and time and the price a “friend” is trying to negotiate with you will require you sell your services at cost or worse.
Don’t do it. Seriously. Don’t. Pay what is required at minimum. Do it happily and without complaint or question. Ok? Thanks.
Put alliance into action
Please don’t only support marginalized groups through clever hashtags and trendy frames on your profile pictures. Do something that actually makes a difference. Support non for profits, businesses, artists, and entrepreneurs that are non-white persons and minorities. These can be POC (people of color), immigrants, and the LGBTQ community to name a few. Your support makes a much, much bigger difference through your actions and patronage than any impassioned tweet ever will. Put your money where your mouth is. Put your alliance into action.
Here are a few businesses run by individuals from groups mentioned above that Candor endorses and would encourage you to support as well!