Shop small, y’all

by Amanda Jean Elliott

Shop small businesses and keep your dollars local.

Forget the mass crowds of Black Friday and keep it small this holiday season with Small Business Saturday.

Across Acadiana merchants are on board with local shopping campaigns from Shop Lafayette to outlying areas like recent efforts in Saint Martin to encourage locals to keep dollars local and the Chamber of Commerce in Youngsville that is working to promote a slew of new places to shop.

For store owners like Paul Ayo of E's Kitchen, it's about the experience and the products you walk away with when you shop local.

"Local shops are going to give you better service and competitive pricing," Ayo says. "Unlike the big box we understand that it's BBQ season all year long in South Louisiana."

Lindsey Falgout, the owner of Vanessa V., is offering a slew of deals with items as low as $5 at the Johnston Street boutique and points toward the difference customers enjoy when they keep their shopping local.

"When you shop local you can walk into a store where the person normally shops and they can help you choose something especially for that person. Service — it's the big difference," Falgout says.

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 with an aim to promote local businesses of the smaller variety, which impacts the local economy and keeps our communities more diverse. While big box stores generate a net annual deficit of $468 per 1,000 square feet, local shops produce a net annual return of $326 and according to some studies like the Civic Economic Study keep $68 of $100 locally compared to $43 at a large chain.