Shop Small

Small businesses are the backbone of our communities

Small Business Saturday was launched in November 2010 as an alternative to Black Friday and in acknowledgement of the critical role that small businesses play in our economy, communities, and lives. Now, 10 years later, with the impact of the pandemic weighing heavily on many small businesses, this message is more important than ever.

The Washington Trust believes that preservation needs small businesses, and as stewards of the Washington Main Street network, we encourage you to make a commitment to shop small this season. We hope that intentional effort during the holiday season will not only provide small businesses with a boon of increased sales leading into the winter months but also help us all reset our spending habits.

Why Small Matters

There are many reasons to make shopping at small, local establishments a regular practice. Here are just a few:

  1. Small business owners are more likely to circulate money through the local community by buying from fellow small business owners are contributing to local causes. When you shop at a small, local business, more of your money stays in your community.
  2. Studies find that the increasing size of corporations is driving inequality, while local and dispersed business ownership strengthens the middle class.
  3. Small businesses make our communities unique. There is so much to unpack here, but from the preservation perspective, what would our historic Main Street districts be without small businesses breathing life into their storefronts.
  4. You get to interact with real people when you shop small. Remember real people? (And please remember to wear your mask when you interact with those real people.)
  5. They need us! Reports show that 62% of U.S. small businesses reported that they need to see consumer spending return to pre-COVID levels by the end of 2020 in order to stay in business.

How To Show Your Support

Here are a few ideas for ways to shift your shopping this holiday season and build some supportive practices into your routine:

  1. Buy gifts and goods from a small local business, instead of a big box store or online mega-retailer. Are there items on your shopping list that you could get locally, but think that an online purchase is your only safe option? Many small businesses in your community may have an e-commerce option and/or curbside pick-up!
  2. Purchase a gift certificate from a small business to help introduce your friends and family to your favorite spots and the shop local ethic.
  3. Promote a small business through your social media platforms.
  4. Give a small business a great review on Yelp, Google, or Facebook. So often these sites only receive negative reviews. Take a moment to reflect on small businesses you appreciate and write up a glowing review that helps them attract new customers!