In a society dominated by large corporations and online retail giants, there's also a more meaningful movement gaining momentum: shopping small. While it may seem like a minor act, the impact of choosing small businesses over big chains is far-reaching and profound. Choosing to shop small from businesses working in developing countries can be especially significant in creating sustainable impact and helping alleviate poverty around the world.
1. Fostering Community Connections
Local businesses are at the heart of communities. When you shop small, you're not just purchasing goods or services from an anonymous company; you're investing in relationships. The shop owner greets you by name, remembers your preferences, and genuinely cares about your experience. These personal connections create a sense of belonging and help build a strong community spirit. You can shop small online, too! When you do, small businesses feel the impact of your purchase more directly and personally. You’re helping to foster a sense of pride and connection.
2. Encouraging Innovation and Diversity
Small businesses are often incubators of innovation. They have the flexibility to experiment with new ideas, products, and services that might not be feasible for larger corporations. By supporting small businesses, you're helping to nurture creativity and diversity in the marketplace, resulting in a wider array of unique offerings.
When you purchase handcrafted goods, you’re also empowering artisans to thrive. These skilled individuals bring a personal touch and exceptional craftsmanship to their work that reflects their dedication and expertise. From handcrafted goods to intricately designed products, artisans contribute to the tapestry of small businesses, making each shopping experience a journey of discovery. At LIKHÂ, you’ll discover a wide range of unique products that reflect exceptional Filipino craftsmanship.
3. Environmental Benefits
Small businesses tend to have a smaller carbon footprint than large corporations. They often source products locally. For example, LIKHÂ sources 92% of raw materials locally and 81% of these materials are naturally sourced. Because materials are from local areas, they require less transportation. Businesses that use locally and naturally sourced raw materials are also more likely to implement other sustainable practices. By reducing the need for long-distance shipping and encouraging eco-friendly practices, shopping small contributes to a greener planet. When you shop small from businesses that are conscious about the environment, you’re supporting their efforts to create sustainable impact.
4. Preserving Cultural Identity
It’s clear that local businesses reflect the distinctive character of their region. Whether it's a cozy bookstore, a family-owned bakery, or a retail store selling locally handmade goods, these establishments contribute to the cultural fabric of a community. LIKHÂ products reflect the cultural identity of their makers by integrating traditional Filipino craftsmanship with contemporary designs. When you shop small, it helps preserve local identities and prevent the homogenization often associated with big chain stores.
5. Personalized Customer Experience
One of our happy customers, Tesoro Beverly Hills
Small businesses thrive on providing exceptional customer service. Owners and employees take the time to understand your needs and offer personalized recommendations. This level of attention and care creates a more enjoyable shopping experience and builds lasting customer loyalty.
6. Nurturing Entrepreneurship
Photo by Puck and Abby
Behind every small business is an entrepreneur who took a leap of faith to pursue their dreams. By supporting these ventures, you're endorsing the spirit of entrepreneurship and encouraging others to follow their passions. This cycle of empowerment has a positive ripple effect on society and the economy as a whole. Entrepreneurs generate new job opportunities, spur innovation, and create new markets, products, and services. When we shop small, we all benefit.
7. Boosting Marginalized Economies
It's no secret that money spent at small businesses stays within the community. Not only are your dollars supporting business owners, but also their families. In developing countries, additional income enables families to buy essentials and pay school fees for their children, uplifting the next generation. Money also cycles throughout the community, with spending and re-spending contributing to job creation and overall economic growth.
At LIKHÂ, we aim to provide artisan families with a means to earn fair wages through dignified work. Our artisan partners typically earn 25% above the living wage. Not only are we honoring Filipino craftsmanship but the artists themselves. We’re also investing in impact initiatives to improve training and working conditions.
Contributing to the “shop small” movement extends far beyond your individual transaction. It's a powerful way to enrich communities, stimulate the economy, and preserve the things that make each place unique. Every purchase at a local business is an investment in the well-being of the community and a testament to the values that prioritize relationships, sustainable impact, and diversity.
So, the next time you're deciding where to shop, consider the lasting impact your choice can have. Choose to support small businesses, and together, we can create a world that values the mighty impact of shopping small.