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Small businesses are the backbone of this country, and as they continue to make a comeback after the Covid-19 pandemic, many are struggling to keep up with the big conglomerates this holiday season. 

While financial aid was made available to local establishments in the form of PPP loans, that money only went so far.

And as we enter the peak stage of holiday shopping, many businesses may be counting on local support more than ever to stay afloat.

Here is a list of things you can do as a local consumer to help your community’s small businesses thrive this season….

  1. Buy Gift Cards

Whether it’s a retailer, salon, or restaurant, gift cards purchased directly from local businesses make a great gift. Not only does it allow your recipient to purchase what they really want/need, it’s a source of instant revenue for the business. 

This is a terrific way to support your local business community and find the perfect gift for that hard-to-please person on your list. That’ll show you put some thought into your gifts, as opposed to falling back on large retailers like Target and Amazon.

  1. Write Reviews

Break the consumer stigma – you don’t need to spend a lot of money at your local businesses to support them, in fact, your personal words can go much further than buying an item on discount. A good way to support small businesses in your community is to write positive and enthusiastic reviews on online platforms like Yelp, Facebook, Nextdoor, and other social media pages. (Of course, you never want to lie and mislead others – especially if you have a less than stellar experience with a specific business)

If you tell others in the community that a local coffee shop has just served you the best peppermint mocha, you can inspire a lot more visits. 

  1. Buy Direct

Did you know that delivery services such as DoorDash and GrubHub take up to 30% or more when you order food items through them rather than the business itself? And that online retailers regularly take up to 50%? While it’s more convenient than ever to order items through delivery services, it takes a good chunk out of the company’s revenue. 

So, whenever it’s possible, make an effort to buy directly from the business. 

  1. Host An Event There

Local establishments – particularly small businesses- may jump at the opportunity to be the setting of your holiday party or event if you ask. Rather than packing people into your home for a party, reach out to your favourite local cafe, restaurant, etc. to see if they will allow you to use their premises for a night. Not only does this make it a much more unique experience, it showcases an establishment that an attendee may not have ever known was there before. 

  1. Make Small Businesses Your First Choice

The most important thing you can do is to make the commitment to shop at small and local businesses first. We’re not suggesting to never buy from major retailers and online companies again, it just means that you will be making the conscious decision to prioritize your holiday spending with small businesses first. 


Below are some unique ideas typically offered by small businesses to take advantage of…

6. Bakery

If you’re not the person who enjoys spending a few days in the kitchen baking cookies for all of your family and friends, let your local bakery do it for you. You can get a wide array of baked items made custom to you, just be sure to get in touch with your local bakery early to ensure you get your gift made on time.

If you don’t have a local bakery in your area, there are small shop bakeries online that ship all over the country!

7. Brewery

Many local breweries sell growlers of their beer that you can give to your favorite beer-drinking friends and family. You could also create a gift basket with a growler of their favorite beer, a t-shirt, and a glass with the brewery’s logo.

If you happen to live in a city with lots of brewery choices, you could also consider tickets to a local brewery tour! This provides a great alternative to the traditional Christmas office party. 

8. Florists

Did you know that many online floral retailers use your local florist to fulfill orders? You can skip the middleman and visit your local florist in person to pick out a beautiful arrangement. A great benefit to buying flowers in person is that you can take advantage of the florist’s knowledge and expertise. They can explain which flowers are in season and can help you create a custom arrangement with your gift recipient’s favorite flowers or colors.


How do you support online businesses this time of year, drop it in the comments below!

(If you are a small business needing additional support this holiday season, our MCDA CCG is here to help you. Reach out to one of our experts by calling our office – headquartered in Placentia, Orange County, California – today.)

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