Even before the world turned upside down, the winter could be a tough time for small businesses – especially in a seasonal resort town like Lake Chelan. With less foot traffic in their stores, small business owners chip away at their savings during the slow months, hoping that nothing expensive breaks. While we always believe it’s important to shop local, there is never a more important time than the holidays. Don’t worry, Amazon addicts! We’ve put together a handy dandy list of all the ways you can support your local small businesses, and we encourage you to pick at least one to try this year. We’ve also included recommendations for some of our favorite spots in Lake Chelan.
Remember that date night you keep meaning to do regularly? Time to follow through! Start a new tradition by going to the same local restaurant for dinner each week and work your way through the entire menu. If you’re the adventurous type, try a new place each time and order something you normally wouldn’t. Restaurants have gotten the short end of the stick this past year, so please be nice to your waiter and (if you can) leave a bigger tip than you normally would. Best part? No dishes! If you’re in Chelan, we recommend starting with Vin Du Lac Winery & Bistro – their baked brie is heavenly.
If you’re lucky enough to have a home chef in the mix, try to source as many local ingredients as you can. Buy locally made products (hellooooo, CheffyK seasoning salt!) produce, and proteins from local farms. Trust us, local, farm-fresh eggs will make a big difference in your holiday baking! And it wouldn’t be the holidays without a glass of wine or two Rio Vista Wines (PS: Their port is back!)
SHOP SMALL FOR CHRISTMAS
Your local downtown is filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered. Even if you don’t live near your favorite mom & pop shop, many of them now have online stores, like Posh Boutique.
Instead of plugging “Christmas gadgets” into your Amazon search bar, head over to Deepwater Home & Electronics and let them show off their favorite techy toys of the year. Get your mom a gift certificate for a facial at Lake Chelan Massage & Spa and pick up a yummy candle for yourself while you’re there. Does your sister-in-law take her kids to Slidewaters every weekend in the summer? Take advantage of their stocking stuffer deals and give the gift that keeps on giving far beyond the Christmas season.
Not sure what to get for everyone? Gift certificates from local shops are an excellent way to shop small without the stress of having to guess what someone else might want. When your shopping is complete, treat yourself to a relaxing massage from England Chiropractic.
PLAN A STAYCATION
Have you ever thought about hosting Christmas at a local hotel or vacation rental? Places like Wapato Point Resort and Windermere Vacation Rentals have a wide variety of rentals at every price point, and often have promotional deals during the off-season. Can you imagine having your family gather in a cozy, impeccably-clean space with a full kitchen that you don’t have to clean at the end of the day? Merry Christmas to you!
SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
One of the best things you can do for local businesses during the holidays is share their content on your social media feeds. Give them a shoutout on Facebook after a particularly great experience or post a story of something cute you found while Christmas shopping. Share/like their posts and tag friends you think might be interested in what they’re offering. Go somewhere fun and spicy with your besties like Hard Row to Hoe. Take a photo, tag them and tell everyone how amazing your tasting was. Shout outs to local businesses on social media are quick, free and one of the most effective ways to support your favorite spots.
LEAVE A POSITIVE REVIEW
Last but certainly not least, set aside 30 minutes to write glowing reviews for your favorite local businesses. If you’re going to only review in one spot, we recommend Google since it’s one of the best ways to boost their SEO and increase the chances of them popping up in a Google search. If you’re up for a little copy and pasting, hop over to Trip Advisor, Yelp and Facebook next. Every single 5-star review means the world to a small business!
Now that we’ve given you a plethora of ways to support local businesses this holiday season, there’s no excuse not to pick one or two things from the list. Every purchase, recommendation and review means the world to a business owner and helps keep your local economy thriving into the new year and beyond.