Shop small, not at the online mall
BY GREGG BISHOP
The holiday season is upon us
and we all know the temptation of
online shopping. The ease of getting
the things we want at the click of a
button might seem harmless, but it
has major consequences for local
Shopping online takes away from
the livelihood of local residents and
strips the community of its extraordinary
E-commerce also means you don’t
have the ability to inspect your purchases
before receipt; you have to go
through the hassle of repackaging
and returning your item; and you’re
depriving yourself of getting to know
the business owners on your block.
Shopping small means you’re
supporting your community. Small
businesses are the backbone of New
York’s local economy, with more
than 230,000 businesses employing
3.69 million people.
Besides contributing to the workforce,
small businesses connect communities
and help create unique, energetic
our city. As the holiday shopping
season approaches, I’m encouraging
all New Yorkers to show some love to
our small businesses.
Here are some ways you can help
your local small businesses that
extends beyond your purchasing
Participate in Small Business
Avoid the Black Friday mayhem
and shop small on Saturday,
Pledge your shopping list to your
This holiday season make a commitment
to buy half of your shopping
list from local small businesses.
Jewelry, clothing, pottery and books
are all great gifts that can be found
in your neighborhood. Consider gifting
a “made in New York” basket
with your favorite local items.
Share small business content on
A great way to support your local
business is to share their content on
social media. It can be as simple as
posting a picture on Instagram or
checking in on Facebook.
Leave positive reviews
While word-of-mouth recommendations
are always good for small businesses,
it doesn’t hurt to leave positive
reviews on Yelp and Google. Leave an
online review for small businesses to
get more traction and visibility.
Join the fun!
Participate in seasonal fun on
your block and in your neighborhood.
From tree lighting events to
local gift guides, get involved and
While you’re preparing for this
busy season, remember to continue
supporting the diverse, independent,
small businesses that enrich neighborhoods
across New York City. As
we enter this busy holiday season,
don’t forget to shop small!
Gregg Bishop is the commissioner
of the New York City Department of
Small Business Services
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