Keep shopping local this holiday season, say small business owners

SUSSEX CO., Del. – This holiday season, small businesses in Delaware are reminding shoppers to keep it local.

“When you’re supporting a local business, you’re usually supporting people with families, their children, and all that. It’s good to keep that money in the community instead of giving it to a big box store,” said owner of Brimming Horn Meadery John Talkington. “It definitely kept our business afloat during hard times and we would kind of like to give back to our community for supporting us.”

Business owners say support from customers, and supporting each other, has been crucial throughout the pandemic. “One of the things I say all the time is community over competition, and there’s room at the table for all of us,” said owner of Gingham and Grace Clothing Jami Jackson.

EDGE grants from the Delaware Division of Small Business have also been a lifeline for some. Brimming Horn Meadery was able to use one to purchase a food truck. Jackson says she also got to expand business with an EDGE grant, by expanding her inventory. That’s something she says will help boost sales, and in turn, help the community.

“The sales from that will in turn allow me to hire some employees. So, that’s job creation,” said Jackson.

Businesses have also been able to take advantage of guidance from Delaware’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC). “We help with creating a business plan. What goes in it, how do I doctor it for my life-changing, or for a new opportunity popping up?” said SBDC small business advisor Caroline Hermance. “We think businesses here really deserve support and community. We try to be one of those resources for them.”

Meanwhile, with supply chain issues plaguing ports, doing your holiday shopping at a local business, could mean saving time and money, and keeping your dollar in Delaware.

“This is, now more than ever, the best time to be shopping small, and shopping small first, because there’s definitely a concern with the shipping concerns at the ports,” said Jackson. “With small businesses, I feel like we can get products in faster. Usually, it’s in smaller quantities. So, we can get stuff a little bit faster than maybe the bigger box stores.”

Plus, business owners say the products they offer allow you to bring a slice of your community home with you. “That’s what we’re here, for is to just kind of support each other. The more that you can reach out to your community and get them to know the other businesses in the area the better” said Talkington.

This holiday season, Brimming Horn Meadery is hosting live music events, as well as dishing out meals from their new food truck. At Gingham and Grace Clothing, you can find holiday sales and deals, including on Black Friday.

Categories: Business, Delaware, Local News