The holidays are coming, the holidays are coming!

Our small business community is abuzz with excitement because for most, this is what they work all year for.  But before we get soft and sentimental like a Christmas cheese log, lets first talk about a dirty little secret that you are guilty of and it’s hurting small businesses: “Showrooming.”

You know you do it, I’ve done it and we need to stop it right now. Imagine, there you are, wandering around a very stylish boutique, when you come across that great stainless steel water bottle that everyone at the gym owns but you. You grab it, you fawn over it and then – you flip it over, check the price and quickly add it to your Amazon cart. NO!! Listen, I get it. Every dollar counts but this is true for both parties. That hard working boutique owner that is sadly watching you “showroom” her product is also paying for rent, insurance, payroll, marketing, merchandise, and so much more! They certainly aren’t going to the Bahamas on your extra few dollars.

Those dollars that you are “saving” are vitally important to our neighborhoods. Small businesses are the foundation of our community and right now, more than ever, it is important to support them. Did you know that between the middle of 2009 and the middle of 2013, 60% of the jobs created were from small businesses? I think the only proper thank you to that is we must fuel their growth.

Check off your gift list by shopping local and small this season. This is my challenge to you: buy a gift from a small business that you have never been in before. If the owner is there, say hello and ask them to tell you about their business. I am positive that you will make a new friend, you will help to grow our small business community and you will definitely spread all of that holiday excitement going around. After all, it is the most wonderful time of the year!