Why shop locally for the holidays?

Published 4:06 pm Friday, November 19, 2021

As a new resident of Natchez, I am not new to owning and operating a business. I moved my business, Riva Chic, from LaGrange, Ky., to Natchez when my husband, Kevin Warren, accepted a job here.

As a small business owner, I know first hand the importance of supporting locally owned businesses and what doing so means to a community like ours.

Lucy Warren

My business specializes in selling handmade and custom-created items by a number of local vendors. When I sell an item, the proceeds benefit people right here in our community. And those local creators spend their money right here at home. Your money is reinvested back into our Natchez community. Studies show of every $100 spent at home, almost three-quarters are spent go right back to our community.

That strengthens our tax base, benefitting all.

And local, small business owners are the ones who support our community with their donations to things like sports leagues and art programs and church functions.

Now, more than ever, we need to support our local community.

Here are some other reasons:

–Locally-made products — Local business owners sell local products often, inviting local vendors to join them — from handcrafters to artists.

–Personal relationships with store owners — Creating a relationship and getting to know the owners is a wonderful reason to shop local small businesses.

–Knowledge of their products — Local business owners are very knowledgeable with their products and know what they are selling. Because they get to know their customers very well, they know what their clients are looking for or will try to find that special item for them.

–Cost-effective — At times, prices at local businesses are sometimes better than big box stores because they don’t have the overhead that larger stores may have, and they may be willing to negotiate to meet your price needs. Now, who doesn’t like that?

–Great service — Local business owners do what they do because they are passionate about their products and typically take the time to get to really know their customers, which is special.

–One-of-a-kind items — Sometimes local businesses have unique, one-of-a-kind items that you won’t find somewhere else. Now, those are really special gifts and memories you can create.

To me, this small town has been wonderful! Coming from a big city like Chicago, you didn’t receive this type of hospitality.

I know a lot of my customers by first name, and I bump into them when we are doing our grocery shopping.

It’s a great feeling when you have a community that supports you.

So, remember this holiday season to Shop Local, in our beautiful city of Natchez and take a moment to meet these special small business owners.

Lucy Warren is owner of Riva Chic, located at 352 John R. Junkin Drive, Suite 118, near the Natchez Mall.