Small businesses encourage local shopping this holiday season

Many people turn to big retailers like Amazon

ROANOKE, Va. – ”We give a lot back to our community,” Diane Speaks, owner of She’s International Boutique said. “I’m very happy to be able to support Roanoke, and Roanoke supports me.”

With the holidays come lots of shopping. While it may be easy to order from big-name retailers like Amazon, small businesses in Roanoke are asking for your support this season.

“It is convenient, but it’s important to support the local bookstore, the local clothing store,” Speaks said.

She says that she tries to help the community with her business.

“We are able to give back to help the homeless in the area, to expose the children to art and education and to live theater, that is my favorite part of being in business,” Speaks said.

Owner of Chocolate Paper Melissa Mays also recognizes the importance of community as a small business.

“I think it is so important to shop local,” Mays said. “Obviously, this community is what keeps us going day to day.”

She says that shopping small shows intentionality.

“Sometimes you have to take a minute and find what you need quickly and get it done, but when you can put the experience into it, you can get something from that experience as well as giving that perfect gift,” Mays said.

Local businesses help stimulate the local economy, especially during the holidays.

“When you put a little thought behind that, we create jobs for our community for our people who then are going to shop with you and use your service and your business, and that is what small business, that is what a community is about,” Mays said.

She appreciates the effort behind making your holiday purchases right from Roanoke, instead of online retailers.

“It doesn’t minimize that we are a global economy and that matters,” Mays said. “I just really appreciate everyone that makes that effort and wants to come down and have lunch and go ice skating at Elmwood and all that for the specifically downtown area. People are embracing the entire region.”

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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