They say that small businesses are the heartbeat of your neighborhood, the spine of your local economy and spirit of your town. Women and men from all walks of life show up everyday pouring themselves and putting in real work–no matter how small the dream. A yoga studio, a local plant nursery, a 50 year old sandwich shop just down the street. These establishments are owned by and employ our friends, family and neighbors. And they deserve your support.
However, COVID-19 has completely flipped everything on its head. Some small businesses will make it to the other side (not without some battle scars) by adapting, pivoting and no doubt, by sheer luck. Many others will close for good. What’s even more shocking–more than 40 percent of the nation’s 30 million small businesses could close permanently in the next six months because of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a poll by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It is clear that small businesses–that have for so long kept our communities vibrant and thriving–now need our support more than ever.
However, for such an enormous challenge facing our nation’s economy, the antidote is actually quite simple. Shopping from small, local businesses. As a small business ourselves, this call to action is close to our own hearts here at HMNKIND. To focus on the people behind small businesses and their stories, here are some fun gift ideas to consider when holiday shopping this year:
Eight-year old Aaron started his own plant business called “Aaron’s Garden” to help raise money to reunite with his sister Ayleen who has been living in Mexico for the last two years and to help his mother, who lost her job during the pandemic. Just one week ago, Aaron and his mom finally raised enough money to bring sister Ayleen back home to Los Angeles. They are now working to raise money to move out of their small shack and move into their own home. Aaron’s garden has a daily pop-up located at 1023 S Hicks st in Los Angeles from 3pm-7pm where you can find him, his mother and now sister Ayleen selling plants (which make amazing gifts, by the way). If Los Angeles is quite a ways away, Aaron also has a Go Fund Me which you can find here where you can give a donation right in time for the holidays.
Shanel operates her small business My Miniature Kitchen from her home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. With a bachelor’s degree in Art and love of cooking, she creates realistic 3D prints to make food-inspired jewelry, charms, key chains and other accessories. As a new mom, Shanel realized she needed time to find a way to stay home and spend as much time as possible with her infant daughter to take in every moment with her. She writes on her Etsy page, “I started playing with personal food jewelry for myself and one thing led to another and here we are today, creating miniature food creations while my one year old baby girl naps.”. You can access Shanel’s beautiful designs here.