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Bigger isn’t always better: 4 reasons to shop small this holiday season

It’s the local corner coffee shop, the trendy boutique in the middle of town, or the homemade soap shop down the street. Small businesses like these are the pillar of our country, and their impact on our economy is undeniable.

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 28 million small businesses operating in the U.S. today and they have generated 66 percent of all new jobs since 1995.

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This holiday season, we encourage you to shop small, and here are some big reasons why:

1. Shopping local helps support the community.

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By buying gifts and products at local shops, you are helping to create jobs and putting money back into the local economy. Most of every dollar you spend at a small business stays local and benefits your city directly. When you shop and dine small, you are helping schools, parks, and other community projects that are paid for by tax dollars.

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2. Banking local helps the community, too.

Similar to small businesses, credit unions also influence local economies. Credit unions are not-for-profit cooperatives, meaning they return profits to their members in the form of lower fees, lower loan rates and better interest. They keep your money local by investing funds back into community through home loans, business loans and charitable giving. Credit unions are also big supporters of small businesses. They are often able to give small business loans that big banks may not have available, typically offering lower rates and more flexible terms.

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3. Small businesses offer a more personalized customer service experience.

Chances are you will have a better experience shopping in a smaller boutique than in a busy, big box retail store. You will fight fewer crowds, have more time to browse, and will encounter store employees who are typically more knowledgeable of the products they sell. To many big banks and big retailers, the customers are just a number. To local small businesses and credit unions, their customers and members are their number one priority.

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4. You can find unique gifts at small shops.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind gift or uncommon item, definitely shop small. Small businesses and specialty boutiques are notorious for selling interesting finds that you won’t spot anywhere else. Delight your loved ones this holiday season with unique, meaningful gifts all while contributing to your local economy. Try visiting farmers markets, holiday craft fairs and neighborhood shops for the most unusual discoveries.

Telhio Credit Union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships or goes to school in Franklin, Fairfield, Delaware, Licking, Madison, Pickaway, Union, Hamilton, Warren, Butler and Preble counties. Learn more about Telhio by visiting telhio.org.

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