How to Support San Diego Small Businesses & Gift Shops This Holiday Season

As a San Diego small business and gift shop, we’ve seen how the past year has impacted people in unique ways. It’s been tough on everyone.

With the pandemic hopefully coming to its final chapter, many families see this holiday season to reward themselves for getting to this point. Since Black Friday sales and big-box discounts deliver significant savings for gifts, it’s tempting to shop for those items.

When we all support local San Diego businesses, gift shops, garden centers, and plant nurseries, the multiplier effect boosts our economy in countless ways.

What Does It Mean to Shop Local?

When we shop at an independent or local-to-us small business, more money stays in the community. According to the American Independent Business Alliance, 48% of spending returns to the community when we shop locally, compared with less than 14% when visiting big-box chain stores.

Some people shop small by buying products on Etsy. Others shop locally by visiting the local deli that’s three miles down the road.

When we shop this way, we’re working with the independent businesses in our community.

We always try to work with local San Diego businesses first when we need something. That’s because our farms, providers, and other small businesses grow when they get our support. When that happens, our tax base increases.

Think about the consignment shop, a hardware store, or the boutique downtown when it’s time to shop for gifts. Those owner-run small businesses offer unique items with prices that aren’t at Black Friday levels, but they’re still reasonable.

Reasons to Shop with San Diego Small Businesses and Gift Shops This Season

When we shop locally, we’re often purchasing something made here in San Diego. It’s a way to preserve our community’s distinction while creating investment opportunities.

That’s one reason to explore the independent small businesses in our community. Here are a few more ways why we feel it is important to shop locally.

1. Local businesses support non-profits

San Diego businesses provide significant funds to our community’s non-profits and charitable organizations. Multiple studies show that these agencies receive 250% more support from independent companies than large corporations.

2. We can discover something that’s one-of-a-kind

The unique combination of independent shops and small businesses is what makes San Diego an exciting city. We’re guaranteed to find something interesting when shopping locally.

3. It creates a deeper personal connection

We’ve always found it fun to get to know our customers better. These connections help us come together as a community, support each other, and work toward common goals. When we shop with local small businesses, the relationships formed with other owners help us feel like we all belong in San Diego.

4. We receive more product knowledge

When we ask for advice at a big-box store, do we get the answers we need? Sometimes, but not always. When we shop locally with San Diego small businesses, we’re often working with well-informed local owners who know everything about the products they sell. Many independent companies adjust their inventories to ensure there’s something available for everyone to buy.

5. It delivers a better experience

Getting up early on Black Friday to fight through crowds for a specific gift is frustrating and exhausting. We sometimes don’t even come home with the items we wanted to give.

Because of the crowds, over 60% of shoppers say they don’t plan to shop in-store on Black Friday.

When we shop with San Diego small businesses, we’re not rushed to find something before another customer grabs it. We can take our time, explore different options, and usually find something incredible to give.

What San Diego Small Businesses Can I Support?

When asked what local business is our favorite one, it’s too difficult to shorten that list. There are too many fantastic independent companies here to list!

If you’re ready to join us in the movement to shop locally this holiday season to support San Diego small businesses, here is a sampling of the local, independent companies we highly recommend and sell in our store:

  • LionHeart Handcrafted sells natural soy wax candles made with organic hemp cotton wicks. Their candles are hand-poured in San Diego, and you can buy them in our store!

  • Boho Creations is a local San Diego business that sells plant hangers and gorgeous hand-dyed wall hangings. Swing by our store to take a peek!

  • KJs Plant Barn sells unique trellises, terrariums, and other fun plant accessories. Check out Karoline’s creations on Instagram!

  • JK Makes is responsible for the homemade cards you see featured at PlanterSam. Support Jen by grabbing a cute card or two at PlanterSam!

After you're done shopping at our local plant nursery, grab a bite at one of the many restaurants nearby. Here's a few worth checking out:

  • Everbowl: Acai bowls and craft superfood coffee

  • Pho San Marcos: Pho and other Vietnamese dishes

  • Banh Mi San Marcos: Banh Mi (Vietnamese-style sandwiches) and other Vietnamese dishes

  • Panda Garden: Chinese eatery

  • Wholly Crepe: You guessed it — different types of crepes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert

San Diego Small Businesses & Gift Shops Need Your Support

Ever since the pandemic began, we’ve heard advertising messages from national brands that say, “We’re in this together.” We agree 100% with that sentiment! When we all shop locally here in San Diego, we’ll still get the gifts needed for the season, stay within our budgets, and bring smiles to faces.

Even with those benefits, only 41% of shoppers say they’ll go shopping on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday.

Imported products at big-box stores are often cheap for a reason. We love shopping locally because it supports jobs in San Diego, creating even more opportunities for families likes yours and ours to reach their goals.

We’re not saying that you should skip those huge sales. We are suggesting that everyone can join us in buying more gifts this year from independent businesses as we all recover from the pandemic. Even one purchase can make a difference when we’re doing it together!

So, join us this holiday season by shopping local and supporting San Diego small businesses, gift shops, and plant nurseries this holiday season — and more regularly too!