4 Reasons to Shop Small This Holiday Season

4 Reasons to Shop Small This Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when we get to show our appreciation and our love for family and friends with special gifts. This holiday season, the Raza Development Fund encourages you to shop small and support local small businesses.  

For over a year and a half, the Raza Development Fund has been proud to add small business support to its main areas of investment. We realized early on in the pandemic that we had a responsibility to support small business owners. To meet the need, our Small Business Initiative (SBI) went from a two-person team to a seven-person team in the matter of less than twelve months providing technical assistance and support navigating available resources. 

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our country’s economy accounting for 44% of US economic activity. And unfortunately, they have been hit the hardest amid pandemic closures and constant changes. As we work together to overcome and rebuild, it is more important than ever to support our small businesses and communities.  

While there are many reasons, here are our top four reasons why you should shop small for your holiday gifts.  

Woo & Sons Jerky, owned by Chris Woo, is a family affair in Phoenix featuring a variety of jerky flavors.

1. Directly Impacting a Family  

Many small businesses act as the sole or main income for an entire family household. Small business owners are often dependent on the success of their business to afford their personal expenses like rent, medical bills, groceries, etc. The more a small business thrives, the more the family can prosper.  

In essence, when you purchase your holiday gifts for your family at a small business, you are gifting another family a beautiful holiday as well. It’s a purchase with a great direct impact.  

2. Supporting the Local economy  

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), money spent at a local small business generates 3.5 times more wealth for the local economy.  

Mujeres Mercado supports over 70 vendors.

When you support a small business, your impact branches out from the moment you complete your purchase. Your payment includes local taxes, money that goes back to the local community through schools, and other improvement projects. The small business owner can then take the profits gained by your purchase to order more products and materials from local vendors. The owner’s family who relies on those profits can now visit other local businesses to dine and shop themselves.  

As an added bonus, many small business owners share a heartfelt connection to their local communities and often donate to local charities like youth sports teams or volunteer to organize a community clean-up day. At RDF, we’ve seen this first-hand with many of our small business clients, like Stephanie Vasquez, owner of the Fair Trade Café who organizes Mujeres Mercado to support Latina entrepreneurs.  

3. Creating Jobs  

The Portland Mercado is a community of more than 16 permanent businesses in a public market.

The impact of your purchase then branches out even further. According to the SBA, small businesses create two-thirds of net new jobs and drives U.S. innovation and competitiveness. This is critical. As of today, there are 7.4 million people unemployed in the U.S. and from the end of 2019 to mid-2020, the unemployment rate had tripled.  As we begin to recover, supporting small businesses is a key component.  

By shopping small, you can enable a small business owner to retain and hire new employees. These employees are then able to prosper, care for their own families and their local communities. 

4. Unique products 

Give the gift of handmade jewelry and support Esmeralda Espinoza, owner of Esmeralda Fine Jewelry. Photo by Phil Soto.

Shop small and make your holiday gifts the best yet. As your loved one opens the special item they’ll discover a unique product they haven’t already seen in mass retailers. Instead, they can cherish a handmade product made with the love of a small business owner and chosen by you with care. 

It’s easier than you might think to shop small. Seek the suggestion of a friend or visit an outdoor marketplace near you, like a local Farmer’s Market. The South Central Mercado, sponsored by RDF and hosted in our parking lot, is a great place to discover small local businesses. Join us to shop small this holiday season this Saturday December 4th  and Saturday, December 18th 

Together, we can rebuild our communities and come out of these turbulent times even stronger.