Support small businesses this holiday season

Posted on Nov 02 2021 in Boone REMC
Downtown Zionsville
Shopping in downtown Zionsville is a great way to support local businesses. Allyson Gutwein of the Zionsville Chamber says that gift giving is a great way to give back to the community. Photo courtesy of Teresa Skutt, Tell The Story Photography.

By Allyson Gutwein

The holiday season is a fantastic time of the year to do many things, including shop! We search for unique items, white elephant gifts, keepsakes and goodies that will make us Santa’s favorite elf. When it comes to purchasing does it really matter where we shop? In short: IT DOES.

Shopping locally promotes the local economy. “Local business generates 70% more local economic activity per square foot than big-box retail,” states Local Shopping Statistics (2021): Facts on Buying Local ( “Over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to our economy if every U.S. family spent just $10 a month at a local business.” Shopping locally produces a more robust community, contributes to workforce development and encourages entrepreneurs to open more unique businesses.

“Shopping local supports your friends, family and neighbors, enabling the businesses to then give back to the community in many ways,” said Erica Carpenter, owner of Fivethirty Home in Zionsville. “The support of the Zionsville, and the larger Central Indiana community has allowed Fivethirty Home to grow into a larger more dynamic business.”

Supporting small businesses is important all year, but the holidays are a time when people make more purchasing decisions. From gift-giving to self-gifting, shoppers are primed to be shopping more in the months of November and December than during other times of the year. Making a conscious choice to shop at a local store, or from a small business, drives the local economy to boost yearly sales.

ALLYSON GUTWEIN is executive director of the Zionsville Chamber of Commerce.

What can you do?

  • Choose to shop at a small business in your local community for your holiday gifts!
  • Encourage friends to shop locally! Talk about your local shopping choices on social media, take a collective shopping day to a local community, share pictures of what you purchase for yourself and spread the word!
  • Leave positive reviews for the businesses you shop with. Those reviews are seen by potential consumers and may help influence their purchasing decisions, too!
  • Include a note with the gift that tells where the item(s) was purchased. It may encourage the gift recipient to become a new consumer!