When you purchase from an independent business person or artisan your dollars are going directly to that person (minus a significant chunk to business taxes..oh my!) You enable them to support their families, to afford their homes, their food, their lifestyle. More importantly, independent businesses tend to give back a greater proportion of their income back to their community and to other small businesses. Numerous studies have shown that shopping at independent or locally owned businesses causes a shift into how much money comes back into the community and makes a positive economic impact. I can think of several other artisans we were able to support this year as well as many local shops and restaurants. Personally, now that I depend on my customers both near and far for my livelihood I am so much more aware of where we spend our dollars. It’s led to a more conscious consumerism in the materials I use (a lot more recycled!), the places we shop (more local or more independent/small businesses), and even how we get rid of things (more recycling, more donating, more giving to someone who can use it).
This year I was also able to contribute to several charities using profits earned from my jewelry sales and since my business is my sole source of income now I wouldn’t have been able to do this without your support and patronage. Thank you to my customers for allowing me to give a little bit back. Here is where some of the money spent went to. I encourage you to also contribute to causes that help others such as these or others you may find:
The basic necessities are probably one of the most important ways to give. Thanks to Harvest For Hunger my husband and I were able to donate every single time we went to the grocery store right at the grocery store register by tearing off a $1, $5 or a $10 voucher and adding it to our bill. (specifically our local Heinens!, a Cleveland based chain, so our dollars continue to help our community) Harvest for Hunger is one of the largest annual, community-wide food and funds drives in the nation and it provides important and critically needed resources to local hunger relief organizations in twenty one counties in Northeast and North Central Ohio.
In the spirit of building small economic independence for others as well we were able to purchase many symbolic gifts through Oxfam unwrapped. Oxfam’s Unwrapped catalog offers items that symbolically represent the organization’s lifesaving
work, and each purchase is a contribution toward Oxfam’s many programs that help people living in poverty
throughout the world. As a small entrepreneur I love how much of their work revolves around empowering people to help themselves better their lives from things like tools, seeds, animals and honey bees to help them make a living to things like school and computer training as well. Oxfam helps individuals and communities make a living, protects women and children, and helps in times of emergency.
You even enabled me to help out my own mother with some cash flow when she was dealing with bills for cancer surgeries and radiation treatments (She’s doing much better now by the way!)
You may think next time when you buy a necklace or earrings it’s just a cute accessory but it’s really so much more, and the benefits of that purchase go farther than you even imagine. Anytime you make a purchase from a small business be it a local shop or restaurant, or an etsy entrepreneur, or a tiny shop online realize you are strengthening the economy as well as helping others to lead empowered lives. Thank you! Please continue to buy thoughtfully and meaningfully.