The lead-up to the festive season is always a lot of fun. Think pumpkin spiced lattes (and pumpkin pies), Halloween, decorating homes, and lots of preparation - especially when it comes to buying gifts.
If you're thinking about shopping locally this year, or want to do more to support small businesses over the holidays, we've got plenty of reasons to convince you that you should, and how you can do just that.
Why you should support local businesses this holiday season
There are so many reasons to buy local. Whether you want to support local artisans at the Christmas markets or find unique items made in the local community, shopping local is a fantastic way to buy thoughtful, unique, and high-quality gifts for the people you love. Unlike large chain retailers, local businesses don't mass produce their products, which means you can buy presents for people knowing that they're unlikely to get something else quite like it. Plus, when you support a small business in your community, you're helping the local economy at the same time.
How to find locally owned businesses
While finding small businesses might have been harder than heading over to the big online or chain stores in the past, in the age of social media and platforms like Etsy, it's never been easier.
If you're wondering how to shop local for Christmas this year, then you're in luck - below we've put together our top tips for finding the best locally-owned businesses to buy gifts for your loved ones at.
- Make use of Google My Business. Many small businesses will list their businesses online so that you can easily find them. If you're searching for companies close to home, you can use the search bar in Google Maps or the 'Nearby' feature to search for local businesses in the niches that you're interested in.
- Ask around. Word of mouth can be really useful, especially when it comes to finding great local stores. Ask family, friends, and colleagues for their favorite recommendations, or search online for roundups of the best small businesses in your local area.
- Use online marketplaces. Platforms such as Etsy are great ways to find artisans outside of your immediate area. You can find excellent gift ideas on these platforms in just about every category you can think of. Just make sure to check how long you'll have to wait for delivery - you don't want the gift to arrive late!
Where to store Christmas presents
So, you've found the best places to shop local this holiday season. But once you've bought your gifts, where are you going to store them? Well, it all depends on when and where you buy them from, but we've put together a few ideas to get you started:
Where to hide presents in your house
If you're bringing the gifts home with you on the day of purchase, the best way to hide presents in your house is to wrap them up as quickly as possible - especially if the gifts are for the people you live with! By wrapping the presents as soon as you can, you lower the risk of curious eyes finding them before the special day arrives and, as an added benefit, it means you'll be ahead of your festive preparation before the real rush begins!
Alternatively, if you haven't got time to wrap your Christmas gifts straight away, find a storage box or cupboard that you can stash them away in to keep them out of sight.
Make use of local bag storage options
If you're juggling the festive season gift shop alongside your work, you know how difficult it is to have to come back into the office after lunch and sit with bulky bags and fragile items under your desk!
Instead, make use of local bag storage companies. Often listed as "luggage storage," you can find bag storage available in most cities - you can with Bounce, at least! All you'll need to do is find a convenient location for you, book your bags in, and drop them off with the bag storage partner. You can even book bag storage to last for multiple days so that you can pick your presents up at a time that's more convenient for you.
At Bounce, we partner with local businesses across cities around the world to provide safe and convenient bag storage for people trying to make the most of their day-to-day. So not only can you shop local, but you can store your bags locally, too!
Make use of a package acceptance service
If you don't have time to go out to pick up presents in person, that doesn't mean you can't still support small businesses with your holiday shopping. Many local stores still offer or partner with delivery services, so you can place your order online just as you would with bigger retailers.
If you're going to be out, or perhaps you don't want to get your Christmas shopping delivered to your house where a family member might see it, you can always make use of local package acceptance services instead. They'll accept your parcels on your behalf, let you know when they've arrived, and keep your items safe for you until you're able to pick them up. If you want to know more, then check out our guide to receiving packages without giving your home address.
Just like with bag storage, Bounce partners with local shops and small business owners to create locations that act as your own personal concierge service. They're located in convenient locations around your city and can provide you with the peace of mind you need when ordering presents for friends and family.
It's never been easier to shop local this Christmas
Whatever you want to buy - and no matter how tricky the person you're buying for, finding a small business in your local community (or even further afield) who sells what you're looking for has never been easier.