Supporting Local Raleigh Businesses For Christmas by Steve Wright Ph.D
I have a confession to make. I watch Hallmark movies with my wife and I actually like them. Okay, I actually said it although I will not let my wife know because that is part of the game we play. Tina insisting that she needs to watch a Hallmark movie and me begrudgingly acting indifferent;)
Why do I like Hallmark movies? Yes they are clean, each has a cheery ending and it is something that Tina and I do together but there is more. Most of these stories are set in small-town America and they remind me of simpler times growing up. These Hallmark movies also showcase something very important to the fabric of our country, which is LOCAL small businesses.
A bakery, a chef, a bookstore, a writer, a hardware store owner or an architect are all jobs right off the Hallmark movie sets. Many of these movies include a plot of someone leaving the corporate rat-race job for their new love and their passion for local, small business.
Yes, yes, I know what you are thinking. These stories only make for good Hallmark movies but you may be surprised. There is a boom in the US for small business. The once naive dream of working for the secure behemoths of corporate America is becoming more of a nightmare.
Multitudes of individuals resisted and rebelled at the idea of Amazon coming to their town and they were relieved when the announcements were made that they are NOT coming to Raleigh. Every business owner I know bristled at the idea that Amazon was coming and bringing traffic, bureaucracy and getting tax benefits and enticements that they NEVER received when they started their local business.
Millennials Love Local Raleigh Businesses
Millennials, in particular, get “local business.” Ask any of them their favorite restaurants or coffee shops in Raleigh and you will clearly their recommendations for locally owned and operated Raleigh small businesses. Tina and I will typically meet with 4-5 small to medium local business owners per day. These local businesses are most often packed with millennials that rather prefer these Raleigh small businesses to their national rivals.
If you are ever in the Cary area ask anyone where to get a great coffee and you will exclusive recommendations for Brew House and Java Jive. What you won’t hear are recommendations for Starbucks or Dunkin.
Local, Local, Read All About It
If you are ever in Holly Springs or Fuquay-Varina you have to eat at The Mason Jar Tavern. My son-in-law is a pharmacist and my daughter is a schoolteacher in Apex where they live. They tell everyone about The Mason Jar Tavern. This local owner restaurant is one of Raleigh’s best from appetizers through dessert.
It is local Raleigh businesses like this that make Raleigh feel like home. In 1960 a local Raleigh landmark was birthed at The Angus Barn was “built out in the boonies” now where near downtown Raleigh. Everyone thought the owners were crazy for building their local establishment “so far away.”
Wedding anniversaries, engagements, graduations and almost everything you can think of is celebrated at the Angus Barn. When celebrities and athletes visit Raleigh, where do they go to eat? Could you imagine celebrating your parent’s 50th wedding anniversary at Starbucks or Red Lobsters?
Supporting Local Raleigh Businesses For Christmas
Competition is fierce from the chains and national brands. Small businesses can’t stroll a float down The Macy’s Christmas Parade or launch national TV ad or afford a multimillion-dollar Super Bowl commercial. Small business is foundational to local economic stability and we play an important role in their survival and success.
When you shop at the local mom and pop store you are investing locally. Your money stays local by supporting local vendors, employees, landlords, and store owners that each lives locally. Small businesses return three-times as much money per dollar to the local market than their chain counterparts. “Choosing to support an independent business is an act of respect; it’s acknowledging the tremendous risk and challenges inherent in starting your own thing.” Matt Kliegmann
Your Part in Supporting Local Raleigh Businesses For Christmas
1. Shop Local – The big box mall idea is dying in America with the last mall of this style being built in 2001 in Wellington, Fl. Most box malls in America are half empty or struggling to stay relevant. What’s in today? Boutique, small and locally owned is roaring back today.
2. Put Down Your Computer – Sure, an Amazon gift card makes a great stocking stuffer but is it really the meaningful, thoughtful and memorable gift that you want to be known for?
The ease of technology isn’t as sexy as it once was. I have been receiving Christmas gifts for 53 years and I can tell you to this day the delight that I receive when I know someone has gone out of their way and given me a truly meaningful gift. More importantly, I remember the times that I have labored over a gift and through research, effort and often working with local business owners I have given unique gifts to those I love the most.
Remember that true meaning of “Christ”mas? God sent his greatest gift to you and I and it was the gift of his son.
3. Share On Social Media – When you visit and find a great local business share it online with your friends and family. If could be the service of a plumber or printer. It could be the care of a dentist or a florist. Local business owner do not have millions of dollars for marketing and they depend on word of mouth as their primary source of marketing.
4. Brag – Make no mistake about it, people read and trust reviews. When you visit a great local business leave them a positive 5-star review.
5. Meet The Owner(s) – The next time you are in a locally owned Raleigh business ask to meet the owner. If the owner is in they will always want to meet you. Share with the owner your experience and ask them if they have anything special upcoming that you can share with others. If they have a newsletter or Facebook page ask if you can join so you can help get the word out on their great business.
6. Be Intentional – Make it a priority to support locally owned Raleigh businesses. My wife and I do this every time we can. If you are getting gift cards for Christmas buy cards from local business owners. When you are meeting friends or have business meetings try to schedule at local businesses. Introduce your friends to the owners of your favorite locally owned Raleigh business. These relational connections are what help keep people coming back.
7. Referrals – People are always asking for recommendations online. When they do make it a point to jump in and be an advocate for local businesses.
You can say something like this. “Many of the recommendations you have received are great ones I am sure. Tina and I always try to support local first and I’d like to recommend our Florist, Simply Unique. We have used them for years and their owners have lived right here in Raleigh for 23 years. They are generous community supporters and the floral arrangements are second to none!”
Know The Facts Supporting Local Raleigh Businesses
· Keep Money Local – An estimated $68 of every $100 stays local when you purchase from local store owners as compared to only $14 when you purchase from national companies. Local owners seek suppliers and services that are local that in turns helps build our local economy.
· Generosity – Small businesses donate 250% more than a larger business to nonprofits and community causes according to The Seattle Good Business Network.
· Customer Service – No one provides greater customer service or stands behind their work like local business owners. Local business owners I know are heart-sickened when a customer has a negative experience in one of their establishments.
Learn more about local business for sale in Raleigh, NC.