Holidays are the Perfect Time to Shop Local
14 Dec 2021
Every December, San Juan County residents turn their attention to winter and preparations for the holiday season. This year, families and small businesses alike are eager to enjoy a normal holiday shopping experience. After nearly two difficult years, Four Corners Economic Development knows the small businesses and charitable organizations of San Juan County need their community’s support more than ever. Whether it's shopping at local stores or giving to local charities, residents of all the local cities and towns can make a big difference in the lives of the local community.
Small businesses fill a critical role as a primary player in a community’s employment base. The Office of Advocacy reports small businesses have accounted for 62% of net new job creation since 1995. Most small businesses hire employees who live close to their operations, so that job creation is an incredible boost to local economies.
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed small business operations forever. The U.S. has seen a surge in business starts, with applications for new ventures increasing about 4% in New Mexico in 2020 over 2019, according to data from the Census Bureau. San Juan County had 644 starts in that time period, a 12% increase! As these entrepreneurs begin their journey, they face a critical juncture. The Office of Advocacy reports that from 1994 to 2019, approximately two-thirds of new employer establishments survived at least two years, with the five-year survival rate approximately one of every two businesses.
With so many new businesses cropping up, it is more important than ever to support them during their critical startup phase. This holiday season is an excellent time to begin a habit to continue throughout the year!
The City of Farmington offers a diverse list of small, local businesses and the Farmington Chamber has information on local shopping centers, all of which are sure to have that perfect gift for that hard-to-shop-for friend or family member. Downtown Farmington itself has a wonderful collection of eclectic shops.
The holidays are an excellent time to think of that special charity in the community. A simple search through the Farmington Chamber list of nonprofit organizations or CountyOffice.org will offer extensive options for individuals, families or businesses to make donations or volunteer their time.
There are a number of other techniques customers can help small businesses throughout the year. Individuals can pass the word on their favorite shops via social media. A quick retweet or like of a favorite business or charity or sharing on a neighborhood Facebook page can spread the unique offerings others may enjoy as well. When purchasing a gift this holiday season, consider buying a gift card for yourself to use later in the year. Finally, dedicating your time may be the best gift that could be given. While purchasing from a small business now is directly related to their bottom line, visiting these establishments regularly is just as critical. Small businesses and charities often have only a few employees who work long hours without a chance to get out to other parts of the community. Stopping in for a 15 minute chat will go a long way to letting them know their services are valued. Taken together, spreading the holiday cheer will continue your goodwill for these small businesses throughout 2022 and beyond!