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Especially in today’s economic climate, you’ve probably been told to shop local and support small businesses. While this is easy to say, sometimes it can be hard to follow through with. More often than not, finding a local business can be hard because shopping centers are littered with big-name stores and corporate-owned businesses. If you’re looking to support your local and family-owned businesses, here is a guide to help you out:

Do Your Research

Sometimes finding a local business to support can be tough. While there are some famous mom-and-pop shops out there, many are a bit harder to find. Thankfully, however, in the age of technology, an online search can save you loads of time. Just putting “local shops in my area” in your search engine can pull up tons of information on local businesses. There are also tools such as Discovery Map that show places in your neighborhood to shop local.  You can also easily take a walk around your area and explore all the local shops.

Start Shopping

Once you’ve found the local shops in your area, it’s time to start shopping. It’s no secret that oftentimes small businesses can’t meet the same low prices of big-box stores, which is why budgeting for shopping local is important if you’re on a tight budget. Set aside a small sum each month specifically for shopping locally. You can even reserve holiday shopping specifically for local businesses. Gifts will definitely feel a lot more special coming from your own hometown.

Eating Local

Shopping local doesn’t have to just be the shop around the corner. Eating local is a great way to support a small business. Instead of going straight to the grocery store for food, find local vendors and farmers. A farmer’s market is an excellent way to eat locally. The foods found at farmer’s markets are often of better quality, more sustainable, and offer a better atmosphere than grocery stores. It’s also a great way to know exactly where your food is coming from and how it was produced because the grower is right there in front of you.