This year there are more reasons than ever to get a head start on your holiday shopping and to support small local businesses! Check out the top ten reasons why below:
- More to choose from! With everyone living in a state of uncertainty, sales have been inconsistent and it has been difficult to predict how much to order, or what will be popular. See the perfect present? Don’t wait to buy it as there is no guarantee it will be there the next time you go shopping.
- Manufacturer Shortages 😥 This year, many factories around the world have had to close down temporarily due to COVID-19. When allowed to reopen, many factories focused on manufacturing PPE and medical supplies. This means, many manufacturers are facing shortages and delays. Hot items such as puzzles may be completely unavailable to last minute shoppers.
- If they are out of something, there may still be time to order it! Many small businesses are willing to accommodate customers with special orders, or happy to call you when an item comes back in stock. It never hurts to ask or to add your name to a callback list. The earlier you inquire the more likely we will be able to get it in on time! (That is of course if it is still available from the manufacturer)
- Cuts down on stress! Actually have time to enjoy your holiday. Take advantage of being home by playing games, doing puzzles, baking cookies, or having crafternoons with the family.
- Beat the crowds! Just going to the grocery store right now can be a major undertaking. Plus being around other stressed out shoppers during a normal holiday season can be aggravating enough already, let alone during a pandemic. Avoid the madness by supporting small local businesses and shopping early this holiday season!
- Easier to Social Distance. As most counties in Washington are in Phase 2 of reopening, it means that stores can only be at 30% capacity. Small businesses are striving to keep shoppers safe and healthy. The earlier you shop, the less likely stores will be at capacity.
- Less standing in line! Because of the limited capacity of small businesses, unfortunately it is sometimes a bit of a wait to get into a store. Also with added social distancing measures and other protective measures such as sneeze guards, many small businesses have not been able to open all of their registers leading to longer lines when checking out.
- You’ll be able to take your time. Spend as much time as you like shopping without the added stress of knowing people are outside waiting to come in. Some small businesses are considering even implementing time limits for shoppers to cut down on lines and help as many customers as possible.
- More one on one time with your local sales associate! One of the best things about shopping local is most small businesses pride themselves in having knowledgeable employees who can help you find the perfect gift. Between the normal holiday craziness such as wrapping, and restocking plus the added COVID responsibilities such as sanitizing, and crowd control, local sales clerks will have a lot on their plate! Unfortunately during peak holiday shopping times they may not have enough staff to give the shopping experience they would like to every customer.
- You will have plenty of time to ship presents! Most small businesses offer additional services such as gift wrapping and shipping to make the lives of their customers easier. It is likely that more shoppers will be needing to ship presents than ever this year as many people will not be traveling to see their family and friends. And for many reasons, it is likely that the post will be a little slower this year so be sure to get those presents in the mail early!
Most small businesses are going above and beyond to offer additional services for those with compromised immune systems or those who prefer to shop remotely. Check to see if your favorite store has a website. Many can ship directly, provide local delivery or curbside service. Local store owners are usually more than happy to work with you over the phone, or via video chat as well. Some even offer private shopping appointments either before or after closing. Be sure to reach out to your favorite shops to see what extra services they may offer!