By Jaime Chapman, MSCC Founder
Forget “Small Business Saturday” — this year, our small businesses need your support more than ever. So let’s rename this time of year “Small Business Season,” instead. In case you are not yet a convert in favor of abandoning your big box store cart, here are a few reasons to shop small, and shop military, for the 2021 holiday season.
And while you’re at it, get yourself an ugly sweater so you can enter our Ugly Sweater Hall of Fame!
Supporting Military Spouses
The global pandemic affected us all, but military spouses were disproportionately thrown into crises-level unemployment. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that military spouses are facing 38-42% unemployment in the wake of 2020 compared to the national unemployment rate of 6.3%. However, despite the odds, military spouses have resisted defeat and, in record numbers, they have turned to business ownership to maintain their careers.
Even better, military spouses are generous employers. Ninety-eight percent report that they would hire other military spouses should their businesses grow, making these business owners a force multiplier in the solution to reduce record military spouse unemployment. In January 2021, military spouse-owned businesses became an “official” term, landing a seat at the table alongside Veteran-owned business for the first time in history through a brand-new military spouse-owned business certification.
In addition to changing the nomenclature for the season, the Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce (MSCC) has also adjusted our verbiage from “shop Veteran” to “shop military” to include military spouses. By shopping from a military spouse-owned business, you help the entire family, including the Veteran!
Where to Shop?
We always recommend shopping local, and the MSCC has a directory to search for businesses near you. We all get in a rush during the holidays, so never fear, there are several super-easy ways to shop online for military-owned products. You can shop through Spousely for military spouse-owned businesses, or shop military through Amazon’s military storefront featuring military family-owned small businesses.
So where will you shop first? Let us know on our social channels, or in the comments below.
Jaime Chapman is the founder of the U.S. Military Spouse Chamber of Commerce. She’s an Army Veteran turned military spouse on a mission to empower military spouse careers through employment and entrepreneurship.