#ShopLocal: Tips & Tricks for Small Businesses
Studies have shown that for every $100 spent in a local business $45 or more stay in that local community. The holiday shopping season can be an opportune time to find new customers through messaging about the importance of shopping local. There are many ways to be part of a cultural shift, building a community that takes pride in supporting local entrepreneurs.
Beyond Small Business Saturday:
Small Business Saturday which fell the Saturday after Thanksgiving, developed as a day of shopping local in foil to Black Friday, which typically is associated with shopping at large box stores. While popular, there are other national shop local campaigns that give the benefit of promotion beyond just one day. Connecting your business to a national campaign can give your business extra exposure.
Two examples are the Shift 10 and the 3/50 project. Shift 10 encourages shoppers to commit to shifting just 10% of their regular spending to a local business. The 3/50 project challenges consumers to spend 50 dollars at their three favorite local retailers. Both are simple messages of feasible calls to action that have been shared nationally with the hashtags #Shift10 and #3/50Project. You can find resources and more information at
You may also choose to identify as a member of the Chamber with our Kodiak Chamber of Commerce window decals. Displaying your membership lets customers walking through your door know you are a local business involved with positively impacting the local economy. Any members needing a window decal can stop by or contact the Chamber office.
Highlighting the Personal:
The greatest strength of any local business is the people who run it. Encouraging local shopping demands that business owners and their staff form personal bonds with consumers. Use casual interactions with customers to solicit feedback on products offered, pricing, or any new ideas you have in mind. Being able to then offer services and inventory that are responsive to your community’s desires adds value to your business.
Stories can help highlight the personal aspect of shopping local. Let the community get to know your business through sharing personal stories in your marketing. For example a facebook post about an employee whose reached a professional milestone like 5 years with the company, or including a quote from a well known community member about a positive experience in your store on your website.
Chamber Members can participate in News and Views, a short two-minute interview that airs on our weekly local radio stations. This can be a great way to put a personal voice to your business, sharing details on your background and what expertise you bring to your profession. Interested Members can contact Community Relations Director,
Helping build the community you want to be a part of can produce a boost in the valuing of your business. Look for civic minded ways to get involved, such as sponsoring a youth sports team, or partnering with a local nonprofit. Donating your time, money, or space can raise your business’s profile dramatically in a small community. Community members will feel more inclined to patronize the business that supported their child’s soccer team or hosted a fundraiser for a cause they also identify with.
When giving a donation be sure to inquire about what publicity you will be receiving in return. Maximize the exposure of your donation by being listed as a sponsor, having your logo included on marketing materials, or in other visible ways.
Walk to the Walk:
It is important that while encouraging local shopping you too are making conscious decisions on your spending habits. Business to business spending is substantial, and developing local purchasing habits can encourage other business owners to do the same. Start by tracking where your spending goes and then identify products or services you could begin sourcing locally. For a list of local businesses and organizations visit the Chamber’s