By Jay Ledesma

‘Tis the season to go local and small

November 27, 2020, 10:05 am

DURING this uncertain time, it is just expected that most people will spend more on the basics and eliminate most luxuries. People are more cautious when it comes to spending and budgeting every centavo is a must.

It is also during this uncertain time that our small local businesses are most fragile, are most vulnerable. They need our support to stay afloat. They need us to patronize them. Every sale is precious so they can continue their business operations and continue providing employment.

So next time you plan on spending your hard-earned money, seriously consider buying from those locally owned stores or eating in those cozy mom and pop restos in your neighborhood.

Am happy to note that my own daughter Abbie is doing more of this, especially during the pandemic.

Instead of the imported shampoo and conditioner brand she was using before, she now uses Babe Formula which is locally made. Instead of buying footwear from those imported chain stores, she buys from Marikina-based online stores. From buying her fave imported donut brand, she now orders homemade donuts. She used to fancy imported and branded cosmetics. But now she’s a big supporter of Colourette Cosmetics, a growing local cosmetic brand.

As I cannot stop her from joining the 11/11 online shopping madness, I was just happy that 100% of what she ordered online are all made by small local entrepreneurs.

I asked her, why did you shift to buying from these big and known brand names to such unknown local brands?

And her reply was on point! “Am buying from them because they need my support, they need the sale they will get from me more than the bigger brands”.

I couldn’t agree more. Since most of the local small businesses are solely and independently owned, they lack the financial strength to stay afloat when a crisis happens. It’s only when they get the support of their “kababayans”, can they survive!

On top of this, when we buy Philippine-made products, we are directly helping protect local employment. We know that unemployment is one of the negative effects of the pandemic.

By going local and small, you are helping keep a business open and giving people jobs within it. That is helping the local economy rebound.

So next time you shop at a local store, feel proud! Think about the people that you help employ.

Now that we have started to reopen and restart our economy, we need more economic stimulus fused into the local market.

When we patronize locally owned businesses, more money is kept in the country because locally owned businesses, especially our MSMEs, often buy from other local suppliers and service providers. Not only are they keeping their own operations afloat, but they are also helping grow other businesses.

We can think of more valid reasons and advantages for going to local and small businesses. So when you do your Christmas shopping and have the chance to make a choice between imported brands and local brands, between buying in chain stores or in the boutique shops around the corner, remember the reasons why going local and small is a better option ‘tis Season.

The suggestion to go local and small does not mean a total and permanent NO to the big and international brands. With globalization, it is impossible to ignore these big imported brands. Not to mention, that we Filipinos have a special penchant for imported goods.

This is just to remind us that we live in an extraordinary and interesting time when all of us are being called to put in our own share to help restart and rebound our local economy. A special time for Filipinos to support fellow Filipinos. A special time to show to the world that it is more FUN to shop and to eat everything that’s Philippine-made and it is more WOW to travel in the Philippines!


About the Columnist

Image of Jay Ledesma

Ms. Jay Ledesma writes about local tourism and business bits that delve on investments and insurance.