Volkswagen’s ground-breaking 1959 advertising campaign for its new Beetle nailed it: Thinking small can be a big deal.

We all learned a lot of things during the pandemic; one of those being just how important small businesses are to our local economy and community. Supporting them is something we can all get behind. The holiday season is around the corner — a time of year when many mom-and-pops make nearly a third of their annual revenue. Now’s the time to show Leesburg’s — and Loudoun County’s — small businesses some love.

The media is filled with stories about supply chain challenges, potential product shortages, and Big Box stores chartering their own cargo ships because they can. Small businesses can’t compete with that. However, their advantage is in their adaptability. Small businesses are getting scrappy and creative to prepare for consumer demand. They’re stocking up early, purchasing products from other small businesses, and bringing in gift options that shoppers haven’t discovered yet.

Shopping small and local requires more thought, and yes, sometimes effort. We know communities will make that effort. A study commissioned by NerdWallet revealed that during the pandemic, 72% of Americans prioritized shopping local over getting the best deal. That mind shift made an enormous difference for business across the country and in Leesburg. Yet, they still need your support!

How can you support small businesses?

Shop local: According to the Small Business Administration, $48 of every $100 spent at a small business stays in the local economy. Spend the same $100 at a national retailer, and the amount is only $14. That power of money that stays here is significant. It allows business owners to provide their staffs with a living wage and helps someone pay their mortgage, make their car payment or save for college.

Shop early: Rather than waiting until the last minute to shop, get out there early. It helps business owners get a sense of what this holiday season will look like. Shopping early also gives small businesses time to pivot and adjust if needed.

Shop small: Support Small Business Saturday, an initiative started by American Express, is wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday and encourages consumers to spend their hard-earned dollars in small, locally owned businesses within their communities. There’s strength in numbers, so choose to be a part of that movement.

As a small business owner, I am proud to be a part of Leesburg’s community, and I know others feel the same. On behalf of all of us, I ask you to please choose to shop small, shop early, shop local and mark your calendars for Small Business Saturday, November 27. Your presence, your support and your patronage will be more than appreciated!

Beverly Ingle, Bespoke Books and Archives

Leesburg

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