How to Support Small Business This Holiday

I’ve happily lived the life of a small business owner since I was 27 years old: hustling, failing, learning hard lessons, and picking myself up and starting again. One of the best parts of this journey has been the great friends I made along the way, other small business owners, entrepreneurs, restaurant, bar and gym owners.

When you go down this kind of career path, you quickly get used to the idea of uncertainty. But 2020 turned that concept on its head. Over the years we have seen and heard it all, and yet, nothing could have prepared anyone for the scenario millions of businesses find themselves in right now.

I don’t need to tell you how bad it is, specifically for all the businesses that depend on their fourth-quarter revenue. Unfortunately, with increased restriction, many of our most beloved established are buckling under the pressure.

Today, I thought I would do two things. First, share my favorite, most reliable resources I turn to this time every year. Some are local to me (so if you are also local, be sure to check them out!); others are small businesses from around the country that I’ve discovered over the years.

And then, I’m opening the comments for you to list where you live and the small businesses you love in hopes that it will help generate some extra attention for them. Feel free to add their website in the comments, too, and what makes them special.

I’ll then take them and feature them across my social platforms to help build their reach.

It hasn’t been easy, but, by the grace of God, I’ve been fortunate this year. Had I kept to my original business plan of working 1:1 with clients face-to-face, in stores, I’d be out of business within the first few weeks of this disaster.

I believe just as much in economic health as I do personal health. The two are not mutually exclusive, so any way we can help support our local communities, especially this time of year, will make a tremendous, lasting, difference.

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This post is not sponsored, and there are no affiliate links in it. 

Local to Me

I have many local readers, so please allow me to indulge for a minute and highlight some local to me businesses I adore. No matter where you live in the country, think about how you can support local first. 

I live in a town called Lafayette Hill, about 20 minutes outside of Philadelphia. We sit next to Chestnut Hill and Conshohocken (where we lived for nearly ten years). One of the many things I love about living here is the small business community. They are the backbone of the neighborhood. They support all of our youth sports leagues and school fundraisers. Their owners are our friends; their kids go to school with our kids; it’s a very interconnected place.

These are the resources I use all year long, especially this time of year when life is extra busy. I use to think I had to do everything myself. Happily, I realized a few years ago, outsourcing many of the tasks that bogged me down during the holidays was freeing.

We host all the time, this year will be smaller and different, but we’re still celebrating. As much as I love to cook, I have most gatherings catered. I find there is almost no difference between the cost of doing it myself and having it brought in, and having it catered lets me take a shower, get dressed, and have fun at my own party.

There are four local restaurants that I turn to regularly:

  • Conshy Girls Restaurant Group – Owns Gypsy Saloon and Southern Cross Kitchen in Conshohocken. Gypsy is my go-to and when I’m not eating there, I’m ordering their take out. The Lobster Mac and Cheese is next level – but everything is fantastic. Plus, they pack their delivery and catered food in such a thoughtful way; everything is in place and piping hot when it arrives. During the early phases of lockdowns, they catered my Mother’s Day and Easter Sunday Dinner; both were exceptional. 
  • Pepperoncini Restaurant and Bar – I have our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day catered by this long-standing Conshocken neighborhood restaurant and bar. The food is just what we all want on a cozy holiday, from crab cakes to filet and incredible pasta, we’ve never had anything less than a wonderful meal. 
  • Pieri Restaurant Group – Owns Stone Rose, Bar Sera, and Bar Lucca, also in Conshohocken. They are all perfect date night spots, with (in normal times) a bustling bar scene with cool beers and good wine. They are always in our night out rotation, but recently I’ve been ordering cheese boards and burrata for drinks outside on the patio with friends.
  • From the Boot – a family owned, BYO Italian restaurant a few blocks from my house. They are probably to blame from most of my COVID weight gain. Perfect take out for when you want a home cooked dinner but no interest in cooking it yourself.
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Welcome November!

Need some baked good? Go to Brendenbecks in Chestnut Hill. Every time I walk through their old heavy front door and hear the chimes ring, I go back to my childhood. The place smells like heaven. We order all of our cakes for birthdays and special occasions. Every Christmas Eve morning I grab a coffee and head over to pick up my order, which always includes their melt in your mouth Petite Fours. 

For fun sweets to fill stockings or give as gifts I go to Edwards Freeman. They have amazing chocolates and candies and the best assortment of retro candy I’ve ever seen. My kids go crazy there. 

To send flowers to someone you love, or for your holiday table, I use Robertsons Flowers, also in Chestnut Hill

There are places like these in your hometown. Now is the time to support them as much as possible. 

Gifts

It’s so easy to support local business when sending gifts this year. Before you do, remember: we can’t expect these independent stores to compete with Amazon. It’s why so many of them are going out of business. So, if you are going to support local, go all in. Please don’t complain about shipping fees and, for god sake, give them enough time to ship them out. 

The first place I look for almost anything gift related is Etsy especially this year, when you might want to give something handmade, personalized and extra thoughtful. I’ve used this shop to have a custom watercolor made for a friend’s birthday, for candles I love Basic Bee Candle Co, and I think custom stationary is such a simple yet thoughtful gift, mine is made by JulieBee Design Studio

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Welcome November!

If you’re like me and love giving books as a gift, use Indiebound a website designed to support local independent bookstores. You can search by title and shop online or enter your zip code and be connected to a bookstore near you.

For unique and gorgeous gifts I like Chateau Sonoma (located in Sonoma California). They have a beautiful selection of affordable gifts like these French Cooking Salts, or this cheese knife set

Finally, I order quiet a bit from Jenny Steffens Hobick of JSH Home in Lexington, Mo. She designs her own stunning wrapping paper, and linens. I like buying her napkins for my own use and to use as part of a hostess gift. 

Now it’s Your Turn

So now it’s your turn, in the comments below share some of your favorite small business in your local area, why you love them and if they have website, you can put that in there too. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

25 thoughts on “How to Support Small Business This Holiday”

  1. Hi! This is a wonderful idea 🙂 Is it ok to support my own small business? I’m a local suburban Philly (Bucks County) artist with an Etsy shop. I create bright colorful uplifting paper and mixed media collages (mostly of birds) and hope to provide a little brightness to others during these unprecedented times. I sell fine art prints and originals in various sizes/price points so I hope to offer something for everyone. My Etsy shop is http://111collagedesign.etsy.com (if it’s not ok to promote my own small business, please feel free to remove)

    Reply
  2. Thanks for sharing. I live in Roxborough, right near Lafayette Hill and I love From the Boot and Stone Rose. Will check out some of those other area spots.

    Reply
  3. Raiford Gallery in Roswell, Georgia features all handmade jewelry and art in almost every medium. The owner, Judie Raiford, is a metalsmith who has been making jewelry for almost 50 years. They have just update their website to be able to order online. It is http://www.raifordgallery.com.

    Reply
  4. Thank you so much for this idea! It is a wonderful way to help small businesses during these difficult times. Your blog is so encouraging, helpful and fun! Thank you!
    My family owns Magnolia Mixes, http://www.magnoliamixes.com. We produce gluten & nut free baking mixes; our products are available through local grocery chains in the eastern half of the US, and Amazon prime. Have a wonderful holiday season! Carol

    Reply
  5. I can’t recommend the Leslie Studio (https://www.thelesliestudio.com/ ) here in Grand Rapids, MI enough. Mary, the owner, and her small staff do image services (i.e. color charting, wardrobe cleaning & organization, personal shopping, etc.), plus makeup and skincare (she has in-house lines for both). More importantly, she is just a very good soul who believes in bringing out the best in every woman.

    My go-to local clothing boutique is Lee & Birch (online, and several shops throughout West Michigan – https://leeandbirch.com/ ).

    Reply
  6. I live near Media Pa that has a fabulous main street and many local shops and restaraunts we enjoy. For food/wine/craft beer visit 320 Market on State St. For unique gifts, visit Local on State Street. For great Mexican takeout or dine in, try Dos Gringos on Olive St. They make homemade Margarita mixed and have a BYOT poli y (bring your own tequila)!

    Reply
  7. I love our consignment store, Lovely Bump, which has all sorts of things from maternity through teens. Because of the pandemic, they now have virtual shopping with free shipping over $50 (although I’m not sure if that includes bulky things like strollers).

    https://www.lovelybump.com/

    Reply
  8. What a wonderful idea. I have 2 small entrepreneurs that I would love to share with you, first “Little’s Loaves & Boole’s, Emily and Dustin started their small bread company while working at a restaurant in Newhall, CA
    and when 2020 hit the restaurant shut down, they started selling their bread word of mouth and the line was a mile long one day, they now are at Ventura, CA farmers market and Newhall farmers market selling all natural bread, English Muffins, etc no preservatives and have sustained their families during these times http://www.littleloaves.com 2nd a small shop of etsy.com “chibibeeshop” cute stickers for the young and not so young, fun to add to a dull phone, laptop, ipad etc by a young lady who graduated college and started her creative career during a pandemic.

    Reply
  9. Great idea Megan!!
    I love the idea of supporting our small businesses.
    It would be even more awesome if your members’ suggestions for local businesses were pinned to the business’ locations on a map.

    Reply
  10. I think is a wonderful idea. I try to support all of the local businesses where I live in Pittsburgh.
    Oakmont bakery oakmontbakery.com

    Reply
  11. If you’re a chocolate lover or someone on your gift list is a chocolate lover, I highly recommend http://www.riverseachocolates.com. This is a family-owned, bean-to-bar sustainable business in Virginia near where I live. The chocolate is incredible and they offer some samplers, a chocolate tasting kit, and other goodies, which they can ship. My family and I did a socially distant “factory tour” this past weekend which made me appreciate their operation – and product – all the more.

    Reply
  12. Why a great idea!
    I live in Palm Springs, Ca and shop at a wonderful pet food store called Bones n Scones. There are 3 stores in the Palm Springs area and all of them carry all natural dog treats, pup cakes and bone shaped birthday cakes baked on site as well as the highest quality all natural dog and cat foods. Check them out on Facebook.

    Reply
  13. Thank you so much for giving us this opportunity!

    Check-out https://www.NicMarieDesign.com where I sell my made-by-hand premium self-care products.

    Collections include unisex aromatherapy jewelry, deeply moisturizing vegan skincare for anti-aging, sensitive skin, eczema, and new tattoos, fine jewelry, and gift sets for everyone on your list.

    Bonus! Save 20% after email signup AND sales support survivors of trauma, rape, and abuse.

    Reply
  14. Two of my favorites in Brooklyn, NY, both with online sales:

    a great gift shop: Annie’s Blue Ribbon General Store (blueribbongeneralstore.com)

    And great bookstore: Greenlight Bookstore: greenlightbookstore.com

    Reply

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