Where we shop matters: Shop ‘small’ this holiday season

Where we shop matters: Shop ‘small’ this holiday season

Small businesses are the lifeblood of our neighborhoods, if not our saving grace. Step inside and you’ll discover a passionate group of truly unique individuals who not only contribute to our local economy, but keep Flint from becoming a city of look-alike, cookie-cutter establishments.

Cafe’ Rhema offers downtown shoppers a warm haven to rest and rejuvenate. Photo by Paul Engstrom

Local business owners add character to our street corners, strengthen our city’s culture and help build connections between our neighbors and us. There’s something inspirational about shopping at a store, getting a haircut, or grabbing a bite at a business where the owner recognizes your face, remembers your favorite coffee or knows your name.

TheHUB has been proud to offer a platform to tell the stories of many small business owners, including our promising start-ups, which continue to grow in number and strength.

As rewarding as it is to often become the first media outlet to showcase a start-up business, we take particular pride in our coverage of those sometimes overlooked “been-ups,” that have weathered tough storms in Flint for a long, long time.

Most particularly, it’s a unique honor and privilege to promote many minority-owned businesses that aren’t accustomed to being in the limelight, but certainly should be. These businesses give a lot to our city, so this holiday season we ask you to join us in giving something back to them by shopping small.

Collaboration is the hallmark of Flint small business leaders like I’m Building Something founder and Flint Small Business Saturday head Ebonie Gibson (left), TheHUB Flint publisher Jackie Berg (back) and Say it Ain’t Krispy founder Vantrell Irving (center). 

Whether supporting neighborhood brick-and-mortar stores or Flint’s many online businesses, let’s keep our dollars close to home where they can make a real difference. Beginning this week, TheHUB will promote an exclusive digital shopping guide, featuring great gift ideas, links to retail outlets and offers from Flint’s small shops.

We’ll also partner with Ebonie Gipson, the godmother of Flint Pop-ups on Third and originator of the “Flint Small Business Saturday” campaign, observed this year on Nov. 24 at Word of Life Church. Come out and enjoy holiday bargains, along with the sights, tastes, sounds and styles that are so unique to Flint’s neighborhood business community.

A handy “Shop Small” shopping directory of Flint-owned businesses will be available at the event.

We’re also encouraging readers to shop the charming Flint Handmade Holiday Craft Fair, originated in 2007 by Crystal Pepperdine. The fair features products hand-crafted by more than 100 artisans, many of whom reside right here in Flint.

Finally, we’ll showcase the best of downtown in an extension of TheHUB’s City Guide. This month’s edition will feature special offers, promotions and events of retailers, restaurants, clubs and community hubs.

Flint native and national recording artist Mama Sol promotes her city love wherever she goes, wearing Flint brands like My Eight One Zero. Photo courtesy of My Eight One Zero

Let’s all commit to shopping small and supporting independent, community-based businesses, where our dollars matter most.

Where we shop this holiday season can play a critical role in giving to not just to our loved ones, but to the city we love.

Editor’s Note: To learn more about the 2018 Flint Small Business Saturday’s Nov. 24  event visit I’m Building Something’s event page. 

More details about the Flint Handmade Holiday Craft Fair can be found on their facebook page.

Click here to get  a handy directory of dowtown businesses published by 100 K Ideas.

Lead image: TheHUB file photo 







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