You’ll likely shop for Hanukkah and Christmas gifts, decorations, and other holiday purchases this season. Three locally owned businesses, Laurel Ace Hardware, Marin Ace, and Standard 5&10 Ace, hope that you realize your neighborhood hardware stores offer much more than nuts and bolts! They have great curated gift ideas specific to their neighborhoods in Oakland, San Rafael, and San Francisco, and they look forward to helping their customers with their gift giving lists this month. You’ll find giftable items year-round that you’ll adore, like crazy socks, electronic accessories, plants, home décor, local honey, local history books, and more, giving you more reasons to shop locally, not just for your everyday supplies and solutions to your projects.
Since December’s 8% of the year represents up to 40% of retail sales, here is how shopping locally this holiday season directly gives back to our local communities:
1. Money Recirculation
Significantly more money re-circulates in your community when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned, businesses. Whenever possible, Laurel Ace purchases goods from other locally owned businesses, (including their adorable Oakland and San Francisco tote bags from Rickshaw Bagworks in San Francisco, and eco-friendly bottles from LifeFactory in Sausalito). Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the city tax base, which benefits all city projects such as parks and schools.
2. Unique and Personable Character
Their one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive Bay Area character. Oakland’s businesses in The Laurel are distinctly unique, giving personality to MacArthur Boulevard. Oakland Grown knows that “buying, investing, and giving locally helps sustain a more just and vibrant economy”; this is why Oakland celebrates their distinctly hella awesome community—including creating the #PlaidFriday efforts on Black Friday! Richard Moe, President of National Historic Preservation Trust suggests that tourists also benefit: “When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace.” Local businesses offer that uniqueness to visitors and neighbors alike.
3. Community Investment
Local business owners invest in community. Local businesses, like these three Ace stores, are owned by people who live in the community, who are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.
4. Non-Profit Support
Non-profit organizations receive an average 350% greater support from local business owners than they do from non-locally owned businesses. Laurel Ace has already donated thousands of dollars of gift cards, coupons, and goods to over 100 non-profits in the Bay Area between their three stores, and are proud sponsors of many local events and sports programs. Three local swim teams; little league baseball and softball teams; a summer concert series; and The Pacifics baseball team all benefit from these local Ace sponsors.
5. Better Customer Service
Customer reviews often praise the service at their local Ace Hardware stores. Getting to know and helping their customers is the most important thing that Laurel Ace, Marin Ace, and Standard 5&10 do differently than big impersonal stores.
6. Competition is Good
Competition and diversity lead to more choices. A marketplace of thousands of small businesses ensures innovation and low prices over the long-term. Just like other small businesses, Laurel Ace selects products based not on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers. By putting the customers first when stocking, they guarantee a much broader range of product choices their neighbors will enjoy. This is why each Ace Hardware store you enter is so different—even among their three stores. For example, they know The Laurel has more do-it-yourselfers so you will find more home improvement items like screen repair kits and door hinges there than at their other stores. They also can stock local sports gear such as Warriors merchandise at Laurel Ace, and Giants gear at Standard 5&10 in San Francisco! Unlike many Ace stores, you’ll find a large Housewares section in all three of their stores, since they know their community appreciates being able to shop in their own neighborhood for these everyday kitchen items.
7. New Jobs!
Most new jobs are provided by local businesses. Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally, and they provide the most new jobs in the Bay Area community to residents. Laurel Ace, Marin Ace, and Standard 5&10 are always happy to accept applications from helpful folks who want to join their team! By hiring their neighbors, they can represent the diversity of ideas and talents in their unique neighborhood.
You have choices when buying, and on behalf of the locally owned businesses in the Chinook Book, we hope you’ll shop local this holiday season, and all year long!