10 Online shopping swaps to support local

In the wake of COVID-19, we’re seeing both permanent and temporary business closures rise across the nation, with 60% of those closed businesses not reopening. Consumers can make simple purchasing changes to keep the doors to their favorite local businesses open. From light bulbs to beach reads and snacks to jewelry, let’s make the swap from big-box-buying to local-loving.

Many of your local stores have now developed new ways for you to shop their shelves online, call for curbside pick-up, or browse new shipments on their social media and Yelp pages. If you’ve never discovered where to buy your typical purchases locally, start today by searching on Yelp. One step closer to making the swap.

1. Holiday gifts

It may only be October, but we recommend starting you holiday shopping early this year. Delivery times may be slowed and based on your location, your stores may have limited capacity or be entirely online.

Local Nomad in Phoenix, AZ

2. Bath and body products

You can score all of your grooming products from local vendors for a similar price and matched quality. From beard oils to organic hair care products, moisturizers, soaps and scrubs, there will always be someone selling what you need, whether it’s through an online store or a local salon.

Circle City Beard Company in Indianapolis, IN

3. Hard-to-find ingredients

Making a mangonada and ran out of chamoy? Or have another recipe with ingredients you can’t always find? Visit an international grocery store to find a bigger variety of fruits, vegetables, meats, teas, sauces and more. Just cooking up your usual food? You can start shopping local for your basic purchases too by scoring bread from a local bakery or coffee from a local roaster.

Katagiri Japanese Grocery in New York, NY

4. Home hardware and tools

Keep that home in tip-top shape by regularly visiting your local hardware store. From nuts and bolts to plywood, light fixtures, twinkle lights and even home decor, your local spots will offer cool design pieces that that your friends won’t have.

Tashman Home Center in West Hollywood, CA

5. Fall candles 

Buying your scents locally just makes… sense. Your local spots are constantly crafting up new combinations, many even letting you mix your own.

Waxman Candles in Chicago, IL

6. Wall art

Local art doesn’t just include a painting of your city’s skyline. Investigating the talent in your own city will open your eyes to the unique skill surrounding you and bring more pride into your home.

Austin Art Garage in Austin, TX

7. All of the jewelry 

Handmade jewelry tells a story, which makes it doubly as special. With so many options in terms of materials, you can find a maker who sells that layering necklace you’re looking for, in your pricepoint.

Gypset in Orlando, FL

8. The next book club read

Your local bookshop has more than you think! They’re constantly getting new shipments in and if they don’t have something you want, they can order it for you. They even go a step beyond big-box stores by offering titles by local authors and illustrators.

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers in San Francisco, CA

9. Clothing and winter wear

Update your wardrobe with local looks and vintage finds at your neighborhood thrift store or boutique. These small-shop owners curate their racks and sell items you can’t find elsewhere, including items for the season: sweaters, hats, scarves, cozy socks and more.

Smartypants Vintage in Columbus, OH

10. Any items not mentioned

There are still ways to support small businesses when buying big-brand items that you’re loyal to and can’t give up. For example, if you need a certain skincare line, purchase it from a local salon, or if you need specific produce, try to pick it up from a local market. Every bit goes a long way!

Your Dekalb Farmers Market in Atlanta, GA