Support Independent Small Businesses this Black Friday & Small Business Saturday
With all of the excitement surrounding Black Friday this year, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of buying the cheapest items without consideration for where it is made, how it is made, and what are the consequences of that purchase. When you are shopping for great deals this year, remember to shop small on Black Friday and Small Business Saturday. This ensures good paying jobs, support for the local community, and much more. Supporting small business doesn’t mean shutting yourself off from the outside world, it simply means putting your money into a locally owned business that uses local resources sustainably, employs their workers at a fair wage, and primarily doesn’t import their products out of the USA! Supporting local takes the money out of the hands of distant corporations and puts it back into the community where it belongs!
When you support a small business, you are paying for someone to go to college, for a little girls dance classes, for someone to put a good meal on the table, and so much more. So enjoy your shopping and challenge yourself to buy at least one independently crafted item this holiday season!
In contrast to all that holiday shopping madness, today we have Small Business Saturday. It’s a day to re-discover your local merchants and the character and richness they add to your community. They may not be able to beat the lowest prices you’ll find online but there’s an unmeasured value in their goods and services. How much is it worth to you to have a beautiful downtown? A local economy? Jobs for your friends and family? In Vermont it’s worth a lot. So we’ve come up with a list of the Top 10 Reasons to Shop Locally at your favorite downtown, mall or rural shopping outpost (like Stonehurst):
Take the kids to see Santa – you can’t do that online
Enjoy the Christmas and Hanukkah lights
Take a rest at an art gallery or book store that has a cafe
Find unique jewelry ceramics, glassware and other handmade gifts
Buy local food delicacies and eat free samples!
Listen to the Christmas carolers and bands
Bump into your friends and catch up on the neighborhood gossip
Relax and enjoy lunch and a glass of wine with your shopping buddy
Order local specialty items you can’t find online
Support your local community so it continues to be a great place to live
Have more of you own? Let us know on Facebook before you head downtown.
It's a long shot, I know. There are already some 200,000 Facebook fans (many of which will compete I suppose) but it only takes a few minutes to fill out the entry form and who knows? Maybe you'll win.
They are picking 5 winners who will all receive the $20K prize as well as a trip to Facebook headquarters for a business make-over.
Here are the 3 questions you need to answer to compete (responses are limited to 150 words each):
Tell us about your business. What makes it fun to come to work
How do you see Facebook impacting your business?
How could a big break help your biz and your customers?
For us, I figured these are all questions we need to understand at Vermont Woods Studios anyway, so why not think them through and throw our hat in the ring? Join us!
Sometimes our customers at Vermont Woods Studios Online Furniture are understandably a little nervous plunking down thousands of dollars on fine furniture they've not been able to experience in person. We're adding new details and videos to our website all the time but I also wanted to give people an honest and candid sense of who we are and how we run our small business here in rural Vermont.
That's how Bare Naked Business came about. It's a behind the scenes look at the fabulous and crazy people who make Vermont Woods Studios the awesome company it is. I'm infinitely proud of this group and the super human things they keep achieving every new day. The best part is that we love doing it – we have a blast because we're working on projects and goals we feel are worthy of our time and talents.
Another reason I wanted to start Bare Naked Business is to create a community of like-minded entrepreneurs who are running (or thinking of starting) a small business on a shoestring. At Vermont Woods Studios we are living proof that this can be done, even during tough economic times and we believe that by collaborating with others, we can all benefit and at the same time – make the world a better place. Check out Bare Naked Business and let us know what you think about it. We're looking for feedback, suggestions, tips, advice and ideas about what you'd like to see in future episodes.
Many thanks to Emily Maltby of the Wall Street Journal for including Vermont Woods Studios in her story about how small businesses are reacting to the Small Business Jobs Act recently passed by the Senate. I was telling Emily that we've been fortunate that our business has continued to grow even during the recession. I attribute that to our customers of course and to the dedication and constant hard work of our team members who are determined to make this American made brand successful. If we can take advantage of the SBJA, all the better!