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The Importance of Shopping Local

Well before Thanksgiving, we were bombarded with ads and commercials promoting all the sales of “Black Friday,” “Pre-Black Friday,” etc. Not only do you have the challenge of buying just the right gift for someone special on your Christmas list, but now we have so many major outlet stores and specials being thrown at us every day. Sometimes, it can be overwhelming.

If you feel the same way as I do, I have a solution for you that will bring smiles on Christmas morning and help your community. The answer is simple and has become more popular lately—shopping locally. It’s much better to support your local businesses, artists, artisans, and shops locally, helping to keep your local city and shopping district thriving. Many of these shops have helped the community in many ways throughout the years by donating and helping build up our own communities.

Shop local
Photo courtesy of Judy Smith

Plus, the gifts are so much more special when you shop locally. I spent the day visiting a few local businesses, enjoying the beautifully decorated stores, and found many unique gifts you can’t find anywhere else. There are many beautiful and charming shops in your very own hometown that are passed by during the holiday season. 

While shopping in Laurel, many local workers would ask where we were from. With a smile, we would say from here, which seemed a rarity for many local shops that have garnered more attention as my small town has gained prominence and recognition through the very popular HGTV “Hometown.” 

Many people travel from all over the world to walk through our charming downtown and the iconic shops featured on HGTV. One local worker said that the past weekend, they had visitors from Michigan, Germany, Bulgaria, and more places than he could remember. It’s incredible that we have such diverse visitors shopping in our town. Still, we should also do our part to support these local establishments that have helped beautify and build up our small community.

Shop local
Photo courtesy of Judy Smith

Not only is shopping locally good for the local economy, shops, and artists, but it is also good for the soul. 

If you need any more encouragement, here are just a few reasons that researchers have found why shopping locally is so significant.

  • Gifts bought locally are more unique and distinctive in an increasingly homogenized world.
  • Local shopping helps keep these unique “mom-and-pop” stores in business. Plus, you don’t usually have to fight the crowds as you do at the major malls or department stores.
  • It is good for community spirit and well-being. As these businesses have donated to local causes, you can do your part to keep them vibrant by spending your money there rather than on major website shopping sites.
  • Shopping locally helps create and maintain more local jobs and provides better wages for your neighbors.
  • When you shop locally, you unknowingly increase the use of public services and town centers, helping to build an even stronger community.
  • Helping local entrepreneurs feels good. You know you’re helping to keep local businesses thriving throughout a challenging economic situation.
  • You conserve energy and resources from traveling to shop out of town, when you stay local.
  • Most importantly, local businesses know you, and you know them, enforcing community spirit.

When you shop locally, you’ll find unique gifts that will be treasured and loved for years because they are filled with intention and special memories for everyone. 

The official Shop Local Business Day is this Saturday, November 26, 2022, after the mad rush of “Black Friday.” But we should support these local businesses with their unique and meaningful creations throughout the year. So make sure you visit your local shops. It will be good for the soul, community, and economy.


Written by Judy Smith

Judy Smith has been a freelance writer and photographer for several magazines and publications around the South, including Social South Magazine, Our Mississippi Magazine, DeSoto Magazine, Deep South Magazine, Country Roads Magazine, among others. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Paralegal Studies, Master’s of Science in Mass Communications, and PhD in Communications at the University of Southern Mississippi. And Judy Smith is proud to forever be a Mississippi Girl.


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