How small business owners made me rethink shopping

Published 10:36 am Wednesday, March 27, 2019

By Lauren Sloan


We’ve all been there.

The ‘It’s Mom’s birthday tomorrow, and I forgot to get her a present. I wish I could stop by (think mega goods store with red bullseye) for a gift.’

A common thought: ‘I am falling asleep in the middle of the afternoon. If only I could run to (insert large coffee chain here) for a latte.

Growing up in a large city, my mind automatically decided on large chain stores for my everyday purchases. It provided convenience with minimal human interaction. But, truthfully, one of the greatest gifts I received when moving to this community was the incredible small businesses that now serve my everyday consumer purchases.

Think about it — I NEVER knew the name of the employees that changed my oil, let alone have a meaningful conversation when I was paying for my car service. In our community, our local coffee shop names a special drink after a sweet girl who has dietary restrictions. Walk into one of our multiple boutiques and tell the store owner you need a present for Grandma — they will pace the floor providing you options for the perfect gift. We have a beautiful, vibrant entrepreneurial community, valuing the customer experience.

So, together, next time we pull up an online platform to order Spring garden supplies. Consider the individualized care you’ll receive in choosing a neighborhood hardware store. Drive by the warehouse mega-store and decide to stop in the locally owned shops owned and operated by our neighbors and friends. I choose to shop small in our community, and hope you’ll rethink your store preferences too!

LAUREN SLOAN is the business development manager for Franklin Southampton Economic Development Inc. Contact her at 562-1958.