This holiday season, it’s important to keep money in the hands of ladies that you love and admire. According to stats from the National Association of Women Business Owners, “more than 11.6 million firms are owned by women, employing nearly 9 million people, and generating $1.7 trillion in sales as of 2017.” Additionally, “5.4 million firms are majority-owned by women of color in the U.S. These firms employ 2.1 million people and generate $361 billion in revenues annually.”
Women are out here in the business world, and it’s crucial to support them for that to continue to be true. But what kind of support is the best? Does it all boil down to dollars and cents? What if you’re living that budget life and you have to be mindful of every penny you spend? What is Amazon is selling the same thing a local babe is also selling for literally half the price and you’re trying to max out your Roth IRA?
The Money Elephant in the Room
Amazon. The elephant is Amazon. They’re huge, they’re literally everywhere, and they are cheap and convenient AF.
And as an affiliate of Amazon, it would be beyond terrible to act like everyone can afford to shop local, and that if you don’t shop local you’re a monster who deserves to die alone.
I’ve shopped at Amazon. You’ve shopped at Amazon. Your gramma has shopped at Amazon. There is no escaping them, really, and so there’s no point going all holier-than-thou about it.
What I suggest is that you simply be more aware of what and when you buy something off Amazon. Ask yourself ‘is this something I can get from a local, woman owned business?’ The answer may be yes, and maybe the option by the woman owned business is affordably priced.
But also, maybe the answer is no. And that’s fine. There’s no judgement here. Just an ask that you consider an alternative when possible.
5 Ways to Support Your Local Girl Gang
Buy From Them
The single best way to support your local girl gang is to throw some money behind them. Buy their products, attend their events, and generally, send cash-money their way. Money means a lot to a small business. Plus, the more money you spend in a local community, the more STAYS in a local community.
For every $100 you spend locally, $68 stays in the community. For every $100 you spend at a chain store, only $43 stays in the community. That money gets spent on taxes, hiring other local people, and on supplies for the first business.
Raise Their Profile
Any exposure, especially for a young or self funded business, is generally good exposure. One of the easiest things for supporters to do is to share the business pages, Instagram profiles, and shop links of businesses they love with their friends and family. Everyone has a platform- using yours to share a business you love means a great deal to your local girl gang.
Lend a Helping Hand
Many women self fund their businesses. They save up some amount of money and use it to go after a dream. Any help chasing that dream is appreciated. If you have a venue space you can donate for a night, or a liquor company that can donate tequila, you can help a small business owner out. Giving freely, or discounting your services for someone can be the break they need.
Send Them Customers
If you’re having a conversation about your shopping with someone and they mention they’re planning on going to a chain store or Amazon, you can mention a local store as an alternative. Just bring it up in conversation. Say something like ‘oh, there’s a store in town that does that, it’s called *insert name here*’. Again, using your connections to send business their way is one of the best things you can do for a local shop.