Shop small: support local businesses during the holiday season


Gabby Mowbray

Local small business owners Linda Mowbray and Chris Slavens posing in their boutique, Peaceful Style.

Lily Barrett, Student Life Editor

As Thanksgiving passes, the holiday season is coming into full swing. Black Friday sales are well known during this time, but recently Small Business Saturday has begun to gain popularity.

Roughly 48 percent of every purchase at a local business recirculates into your local economy, compared to about 14 percent of every purchase from larger chain stores. Not only does it benefit your local economy, but you’re receiving a more quality shopping experience.

Large retail companies tend to over-power sales during the holiday season due to the convenience of online shopping and fast shipping. However, when you spend your time shopping with these larger competitors, you may lack valuable customer service and a shopping experience fit for you.

Senior Callahan Morton has done her part this holiday season by shopping at local businesses. “I like shopping small for the holidays because giving back to the stores that make our community unique is one of the wonderful joys of the holiday season,” she said. Shopping at local businesses does not only have to take place during the holidays; these businesses are making an impact on our community year-round.

Due to the pandemic, many small businesses in the Quad Cities and all around the country had to shut down temporarily. A majority of these businesses did not have online shopping options, so they had to improvise.

One business in the Quad Cities, Peaceful Style Boutique, came up with a plan that allowed safe shopping for all customers while in-person shopping was at a halt. “We had people buying off of our social media posts, and then we offered curbside pick-up, free shipping, and local delivery,” co-owner Linda Mowbray stated.

The Bettendorf boutique has many different options for holiday and year-round shopping. They have many styles of shoes, clothing and accessories from various brands that you can’t find anywhere else.

Mowbray, along with co-owner Chris Slavens, opened the boutique in 2018, hoping to create a “new trendy fashion-forward boutique” in the Quad Cities.

“Anytime a new business opens up, it is great for the economy,” Mowbray commented. “It brings growth and innovation to the community. COVID or not, we pay payroll taxes, commercial real estate rent, federal and state taxes, and sales tax that support our community and local government.”

If you’re stumped on where to shop this holiday season, check out small businesses and boutiques within your community to get anyone in your life a unique present that pays it forward. As Mowbray said, “shop small!”