Shop & Give Local this Holiday Season
24 Nov 2021
The holiday season is an opportunity to reach out to others, helping in ways that build a healthy community. After two extremely difficult and taxing years of pandemic-related impacts, small businesses and charitable organizations need their community’s support more than ever. Whether it's shopping at local stores or giving to local charities, Wadena County residents have the ability to work together to make their home towns places to be proud of.
Small business; large impact!
Saturday, November 27 is Small Business Saturday in communities across the nation just like Wadena County! The event was organized more than a decade ago to highlight the importance of small businesses to local economies. It continues to be the perfect opportunity for holiday shoppers to visit small businesses, familiarizing themselves with the people who bring their products and services to benefit customers all year long.
Not only is now the perfect time for residents to patronize local shops and help organizations in need, but it is an excellent opportunity to develop a year-round recognition of their importance. The National Federation of Independent Business reported that from 2010 to 2018, $103 billion in sales has been generated for small businesses on Small Business Saturday. In 2018 alone, it reported 104 million shoppers spent $17.8 billion!
Small businesses fill a critical role as a primary player in a community’s employment base. The Office of Advocacy reports small businesses have accounted for 62% of net new job creation since 1995. Most small businesses hire employees who live close to their operations, so that job creation is an incredible boost to local economies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed small business operations forever. The U.S. has seen a surge in business starts, with applications for new ventures increasing 24% in 2020 over 2019, according to data from the Census Bureau. As entrepreneurs begin their journey, they face a critical juncture. The Office of Advocacy reports that from 1994 to 2019, approximately two-thirds of new employer establishments survived at least two years, with the five-year survival rate approximately one of every two businesses.
With so many new businesses cropping up, it is more important than ever to support them during their critical startup phase. Small Business Saturday is an excellent time to begin! The following local organizations are just a few of those in Wadena County that help consumers direct their shopping to local, small businesses.
Menahga Civic & Commerce Association
Sebeka Civic and Commerce Committee Facebook
Give on a Tuesday!
Beyond shopping, another excellent option to help Wadena County residents and organizations comes on November 30 as Giving Tuesday. The day is a global movement of generosity that encourages people to give whatever they can, be it donations, time or community activeness. One fantastic organization to get involved with in Wadena County is Ruby’s Pantry, a 501(c)3 nonprofit attempting to meet the tangible needs of residents and visitors alike. Other Wadena County organizations to patronize on Giving Tuesday include:
United Way of Otter Tail & Wadena Counties
Other ways customers can help small businesses throughout the year include:
- Engage on Social Media - Retweet and Like your favorite business or charity. Post to your neighborhood Facebook page.
- Purchase a gift; then buy a gift card to use later in the year.
- Dedicate your time - Yes, purchasing from the small business goes directly to their bottom line, but visiting these establishments regularly is just as critical. Small businesses and charities often have only a few employees who work long hours without a chance to get out to other parts of the community. Stopping in for a 15 minute chat will go a long way to letting them know their services are valued.