The holiday season is the perfect time to get out and support small businesses. If every family in the U.S. shifted $10 a month to locally-owned independent businesses, over $9.3 billion would be directly returned to local economies.
Whether it’s artisanal holiday markets around the state, Detroit’s seasonal pop-up shops or established specialty retailers and downtown districts, there are plenty of reasons to shop local during the holidays and year-round.
D:hive’s Director of Small Business Initiatives, April Boyle, manages programs that support local entrepreneurs in building and growing their own business. D:hive helps coordinate Small Business Saturday and Shop Detroit, two initiatives that have had great impact on small businesses.
Below, she shares the importance of pop up shops and how shopping small this holiday can have a huge impact on the community.
Small businesses are the number one source of local job creation. Keeping money local means supporting a stronger and healthier economy and creating a more vibrant retail environment that is shaped by the community’s needs.
Small Business Saturday is a national movement that we promote locally through an event called Shop Detroit, which helps bring attention to the thriving number of independent retailers we have in our city. Our most recent Pilot pop-up, Spielhaus Toys, doubled the sales from their best day on Small Business Saturday alone. We couldn’t have been more excited to help bring this one-of-a-kind children’s toyshop downtown for the holidays.
Our small business programs, including BUILD and Pilot, support business owners in each phase of growth. We’ve graduated over 200 entrepreneurs through BUILD, which trains and prepares entrepreneurs who have an idea to take the next step by creating a business plan. D:hive’s Pilot, developed in partnership with Opportunity Detroit, is specifically geared towards entrepreneurs ready to test their idea through a risk-free, two-month pop-up downtown.
Pop-ups allow entrepreneurs to prove their concept and interface with customers, while helping to spur retail growth in their communities. Trying a pop-up gives you a low capital way to vet your product, start building your brand, and get buy-in which you can use to leverage a permanent space. The momentum behind pop-ups right now is huge, and programs such as DEGC Revolve and TechTown Retail Boot Camp are encouraging more specialty retail in the city.
Through our entrepreneurship initiatives our goal is to help revitalize neighborhoods and shopping districts by empowering people to create jobs for themselves. Several of our BUILD grads have gone on to open up their businesses in Detroit neighborhoods, including Detroit Fiber Works and Good Cakes and Bakes on Livernois and on the east side, Coffee and ___ and Detroit Vegan Soul.
I make a commitment every year to dedicate a portion of my holiday shopping locally to keep my money on Main Street, revive the economy and support small businesses. It’s a small sacrifice that makes a really big impact!
Wondering where to start? Check out this list of Holiday Retail Happenings from Model D.