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Just like that, it’s November. The beginning of a long and undoubtedly different holiday season. With all the decorating, meal planning, and family organizing, comes another stressful activity to be mindful of: holiday shopping.

While many of you might already have lists prepared for this year’s Black Friday sales, we encourage you to take a step back and consider supporting your local small business instead to find the perfect custom gifts, fit for everyone on your list.

Support Local

Where do I find one?

You might not be so eager to go strolling through your town centre on weekends, looking for all the single-owned storefronts, which truthfully, can make it harder to find them. Luckily, many small businesses depend heavily on their online presence, and can be easy to find with a little bit of digging:

Instagram

Consider your Instagram feed your modern-day Yellow Pages, albeit a bit more complex to navigate. There are, however, a few tips you can follow to find all the local (and perhaps even out-of-home) businesses in your area:

  • Search for tags that are relevant to your town. For example, I would search for “#waterlooregion” or any other variation of my city of Waterloo to find all posts that used that hashtag. Most local businesses will be sure to use relevant location hashtags so that people like yourself can find them!
  • If scrolling through search results doesn’t sound like your ideal afternoon activity, try to find local profiles dedicated to highlighting the different businesses and attraction that your town has to offer. Hey, maybe your town even has its own Instagram account you can look up!

Facebook

Another great resource for finding local gems is your good ol’ Facebook account. Luckily, the search function there is a bit more conventional and easy to use. Simply search for phrases such as “[your town/city name]” and “local” and it will provide you with not only a list of groups (most likely public/open) for you to join and find out about all the different local initiatives and businesses in your area, but it will even populate Facebook profiles of local businesses that you can immediately check out.

How do I show my support?

Short of actually making a purchase, there are other ways that you can help small businesses get their brand out this holiday season, because their best marketing tool is truly you—their customer.

  • Take a picture of your purchase, share it on your profile(s) and tag them in it!
  • Leave a Google review for their business
  • Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, or wherever their business is and show their page some love with double taps and comments

It’s fair to say that the past several months have not been easy on anyone, and have seen us all adjust in one way or another. Supporting local is just one small step we can take to make that adjustment period a little easier, and hey, you get to complete your holiday shopping list in the process—a win-win.

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