In South Africa, the holiday season is historically a time when business owners look to boost their revenues by capitalizing on increased consumer spending. Wonga, a company that provides short-term loans, estimates that residents of South Africa will spend approximately R226 billion during the holiday season.

Smaller companies and larger retail outlets will compete against one another for a portion of the large amount of money that consumers spend during the holiday season. Shoppers will be looking to spend their hard-earned cash.

Before you pull out your credit or debit card, take a look at these reasons why supporting locally-owned businesses is the way to go during the holiday season:

Our Entire Economy Would Grind to a Halt if It Were Not for the Contributions Made by Small Businesses

Small companies in South Africa are responsible for approximately 34% of the country’s GDP and hire somewhere between 50% and 60% of the country’s workforce. That is a huge deal: the underdogs of Mzansi are the ones who are keeping the gears of the marketplace working. It’s not mainly the large firms who are doing this; rather, it is the small and medium enterprises. To put it another way, every rand you splurge at a local shop or restaurant ultimately stimulates our economy and has an effect on each and every person living in South Africa.

The Local Economy Depends Heavily on the Success of Its Smaller Companies

Your neighborhood bakery is where you go to start your day off on the right foot. The florist who will never refuse to reduce the price of your arrangement “just because”… The neighborhood pizzeria where you’ve shared both happy and sad times with your friends. If they weren’t there, your neighborhood would just be a boring collection of streets and houses if you took them away. It is important to note that smaller companies play an important part in the overall health and prosperity of communities. You are making an investment in the community as a whole when you support locally owned and operated businesses.

Supporting Your Community and the Planet by Purchasing Goods Made Locally

It can be challenging to ignore the allure of the newest, most fashionable iteration of whatever product presents you with the greatest temptation when shopping. On the other hand, and this is a significant point, the consequences of climate change must no longer be disregarded. It is the responsibility of each and every person living in the natural world to advocate for environmentally friendly consumption, and one of the most effective ways to carry out this responsibility is to show support for local business owners, which leave a noticeably smaller ecological footprint.

Everything that is sold in plastic, overpackaged, and shipped from overseas may be more affordable or more convenient to purchase, but the repercussions of rampant and careless consumption are extremely negative.

Take, for instance, the fast fashion industry, which is one of the sectors that are responsible for the greatest amount of pollution in the world. The accumulated ecological impact of billions of customers purchasing “just one pair of leggings/halter-top/sneakers” is stupendously damaging, although it may be tempting to do so. According to Jane Goodall, a well-known environmental activist, “What you do has an impact and you must determine what type of difference you wish to make.”

You’re Helping an Individual Just Like Yourself

There is a meme that circulates among business owners that go as follows: “Every time you make a purchase from a local shop, a normal human is doing a little victory dance.” Your money does not go toward increasing the already mind-boggling account balances of millionaires who own major brands; rather, it is given directly to people who are supporting their family members despite the ever-increasing living costs. To the shareholders and directors of enormous corporations, the money you give them is a metaphorical ripple in the ocean; however, to owners and employees of small businesses, each and every cent makes a real and noticeable difference.

The Use of Your Financial Resources Encourages the Generation of Novel Ideas and Inventiveness

Ideas frequently originate in newly formed small businesses. They are conceived while drinking countless cups of tea at the kitchen table, chit-chatting with customers, or musing aloud about “what ifs” and “imagine ifs” in the company of other people. Many smaller companies owe their beginnings to the reality that the product or service they provide offered a solution to an issue that had not yet been resolved. This is another reason why small businesses are created out of necessity. These concepts could never become a reality if you did not lend your support.

In contrast to mainstream brands, which are renowned for utilizing the work of individual firms and then benefiting from them, you are providing financial support to entrepreneurs, artists, and innovators when you purchase from small businesses.