Supporting Small Businesses During the Pandemic Share Written By Dora Tags 2020-11-24 That time of year is quickly approaching where we gorge our gullets to extremes in preparation for the merry madness and celebrated chaos of holiday shopping. Black Friday is the infamous and unofficial holiday that has been kicking off our holiday shopping season. However, after the initial rush has dissipated, there comes along Small Business Saturday. Started in 2010 by American Express, the aim of Small Business Saturday is to both support and enrich your local community by shopping at the small retailers you love, or even explore new ones. The mall and other chain stores may be your go-to for your holiday shopping needs, but small businesses can offer a little bit more, not just in the products they offer, but their impact as well. Small businesses have a novel appeal to them. They are not simply a big brand store looking to sell you a product. They are the way your parent, neighbor, or friend may make a living. They provide a more personal and hands-on customer service experience, helping to answer your questions quickly and directly, while also working with you to help provide exactly what you need. This direct customer service helps to develop trust between consumer and owner; something that you could not get from a larger retailer. The benefit for shopping small is also mutual support. When you shop from a small business, it profits the community. Small businesses are a source of local jobs. In fact, ⅔ of new jobs created in the United States are from small businesses. For many of us, including myself, our very first job was with a small business. The dream of one entrepreneur then goes to help and provide for the goals of another. Along with providing jobs, money that is spent at a small, local business is money that stays within the community. According to a Civics Economic Study in Grand Rapids, Michigan, if you spend $100 at a small business, $68 stays in the local economy. Compare this to spending at a large retail chain, and you will find that only $43 stays within the local community. Small business owners, a little over 90% of them, are also more involved with the community, volunteering and donating to local events and even operating as members of the city board or local government. Additionally, small businesses add a vibrant and diverse nature to their community. Imagine if all your neighborhood restaurants, salons, pet stores, bakeries, and clothing shops suddenly disappeared? Your city would be empty and dull, and you would have to make much farther and inconvenient trips for your goods. Then, if you are looking for something in particular, you might have to deal with the wait and shipping costs of online shopping. Which can be helpful, but is not always really fun or convenient. Small businesses not only add to a community but shape it. The American Dream is founded on the backs of small business owners. With so many different people migrating to America and out west, we saw whole towns grow. Places like Little Tokyo in Los Angeles and Little Italy in San Diego have been defined by their cultural businesses that bring bits of the world next door. Small businesses can also be niche and specialty shops, like the Halloween Club where we offer goods that cannot be found commonly elsewhere. A selective and more targeted collection of merchandise could ease those looking to find particular goods that cannot be found anywhere else. Additionally, small businesses can aid in providing goods to unique and underrepresented groups. Take our own Halloween club. Open year-round, it provides spooky goods to enthusiasts at any time. It is unlike most places and thrives from a community of kindred spirits who wanna celebrate Halloween every day. I mean, where else could you grab your special effects makeup or gothic robe in the middle of January? Aside from just morbid interest alone, there are also events going on all year round that may require a costume or two for the common individual. If you need a Santa suit for Christmas, a mask for Mardi Gras, or materials to help build your cosplay for the next convention, Halloween Club has its doors open. From fangs and colorful wigs to decorative furnishings and nerdy accessories, Halloween Club has a little something for everyone. Without this fun and macabre community, Halloween Club would be a much lesser and temporary shop. Due to the love and support from customers, Halloween Club remains after 30 years as a recognizable fixture to all those who dwell in the Los Angeles and Orange County areas.Spook Show further embodies this eerie community by allowing other small business owners to display their wares and connect with new customers with their own personal novelties and delights. It is a chance to step away from the shadows and bring to light their peculiar and wondrous brand. All kinds can be seen at spook show, from crimson-soaked gore to the beautiful and gothic, there proves to be a little something for everybody and spirit to enjoy. It may be strange to some on why you would want to shop at a Halloween store for Christmas, but the fact is that, for some of us, The Nightmare Before Christmas is not just a movie, but the aesthetic of this holiday season. It's not uncommon for some of us to add a batty garland and pumpkin ornaments to our Christmas tree, so a haunting inspired gift would serve to provide a ghastly delight to that special ghoul in your life. Maybe even a little gift for yourself after enduring the mass hysteria to pillage gifts for your loved ones. After all, holiday shopping can be like a stress-fueled fight for survival and your aim is to be the final girl of this slasher flick. Christmas is for everyone, and maybe your seasonal tastes are a bit out of the ordinary, but there's nothing wrong with indulging the scream queen or horror fanatic, or even the fanboy and the princess in your life. It's the season of giving, so wherever and for whoever you chose to shop for, make sure to give a small business a chance this season. You may find some fantastic treasures, and you'll also be doing some good. Come visit our Black Friday + Small Business Saturday event this holiday weekend and celebrate the holidays while supporting your local businesses. If you're looking for something in particular or just want a sneak peek at what Halloween Club has to offer, take a look at our online catalog which features a little something for everyone. It's a good idea to prepare a shopping list before visiting any store. We'll also be having a special sale and early sign-ups for our upcoming annual Spook Show. It's the season of giving, so give to others while you give your support to small business all around your community. Click to get directions to Halloween Club in La Mirada. References: 1. Corkery, Colleen. “6 Big Reasons Why You Should Shop Small Every Day.” FiveStars INSIGHTS, Fivestars Loyalty, INC, 9 Dec. 2015, blog.fivestars.com/shop-small-businesses-every-day/. 2. Danner, Dan. “The top ten reasons to "shop small" on Small Business Saturday.” Fox News, FOX News Network, 29 Nov. 2013, www.foxnews.com/opinion/2013/11/29/top-ten-reasons-to-shop-small-on-small-business-saturday.html. 3. Dennis, William J. “Contributions to Community.” NFIB: The Voice of Small Business - National Small Business Poll, National Federation of Independent Business, 2007, 411sbfacts.com/sbpoll.php?POLLID=0025&KT_back=1. 4. NerdWallet. “4 Reasons to Shop at Small Businesses This Holiday Season.” NerdWallet, NerdWallet, Inc., 23 Nov. 2016, www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/five-reasons-shop-small-businesses-holiday/. 5. “Promote Your Business.” FAQs for Small Business Saturday - American Express, American Express, www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/faqs. Accessed November 16, 2017. 6. “Small Business Saturday Statistics | What You Need to Know.” Grasshopper , Grasshopper, 2017, grasshopper.com/resources/articles/small-business-saturday-statistics/.