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, 12 years later, with the impact of being nearly two years into 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! According to the American Express Shop Small Impact survey, more than half (56%) of small businesses surveyed agree that this year’s Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever for their business, and 78% say holiday sales will impact their ability to keep their doors open in 2022.

How To Show Your Support

Here are a few ways to adapt your holiday shopping to ensure our local small businesses continue to recover and thrive:

  • Buy your gifts, goods, and grub from a small local business instead of a big box or corporate chain store. Many small businesses in your community have expanded their e-commerce options and/or added curbside pick-up!
  • Purchase a small business gift certificate, and introduce your friends and family to shopping small. In some of our local main street communities like Ridgefield, you can even buy some “Main Street Moola” that can be used at multiple stores within the downtown corridor.
  • Don’t forget to use social media to promote shopping small. Use features like the “Support Small Business” sticker for Instagram stories to tag the accounts for your favorite small businesses, and use the hashtag #ShopSmall in your posts.
  • Especially during these times, please consider providing a positive Yelp, Google, or Facebook review. Staffing shortages may have resulted in some negative reviews, and entrepreneurs can use all the encouragement they can get during this stressful time of uncertainty. Please take a moment to reflect on your favorite Main Street businesses and send some love their way in the form of a glowing review!

Where to Shop Small on Main Street

We’ve compiled a list of shopping and business directories from Main Street organizations across the state to help you find small businesses in your community. Where a directory is unavailable from the Main Street organization, we linked to ones available from the closest city, town, or county.