Make a difference by shopping small: How VistaCreate supports local businesses
There’s no better time to start making changes than during the winter holidays. We make New Year’s resolutions by promising ourselves to finally join a gym or stop drinking 4 cups of coffee a day. We spend hours surfing the internet to select the best gifts for our loved ones. We thrive to become better the following year.
The Vista family, including VistaCreate, supports these efforts and encourages them with the warmest initiative called Shop Small. The company’s mission is to contribute to small, local businesses and inspire its employees to do so.
How the Shop Small initiative works
To follow this virtuous mission, Vista reimburses $50 to every employee who purchases something from a local business. There are no limits in terms of products: a person can purchase a new ugly sweater or a granny’s set of jam — anything from a small, local company. All in all, Vista allocated $350,000 to fund the Shop Small initiative.
The timing is perfect: not only is it a prime shopping season, but it’s also a time when small businesses are in need of support due to the pandemic. For example, in Ukraine, nearly 200,000 entrepreneurs closed their businesses during the first year of the pandemic. This is 12% more than in the previous year.
Zooming out: Vista is a vast company with more than 7,000 employees in 25 countries, so this is not only about Ukraine. The initiative took place worldwide to support communities and boost local businesses.
What are the results of Small Shop
The best part of any initiative is the results. Sit tight and enjoy!
94% of Vista’s team members took part in the initiative.
They supported about 7000 local companies they share values with.
Spoiler alert: Colleagues from VistaCreate enjoyed the initiative so much, they even created a list of their favorite Ukrainian brands to support and cherish. In the article on the VistaCreate blog, you’ll be able to explore all of them.
Why is this important?
Although buying things is fun, a vital part of the Small Shop initiative is to enlighten communities about the importance of supporting small businesses. This is true for several reasons, but let’s focus on the most essential ones:
1. Small entrepreneurs foster the national economy
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy, built on private property and personal responsibility. In Ukraine, there are almost 2,000,000 entrepreneurs. They bring money to the national budget. Moreover, they tend to expand; thus, creating workplaces for people in the community.
Numbers speak for themselves:
- Small businesses in Ukraine bring nearly 16% of gross domestic product to the country’s economy.
- In 2019, Ukrainian entrepreneurs paid $1 billion in taxes to the national budget.
- In eight years, budget revenues from small businesses have increased 24 times.
Another significant point in favor of small businesses is that they frequently cooperate with other local companies instead of foreign contractors. As a result, the money stays in the country and works for the national economy.
2. Small businesses nurture and popularize ethnic culture
Entrepreneurs frequently get inspiration from ethnic culture and forgotten traditions. They modernize traditional clothing and household items to make them relevant. For instance, GUNIA project, a Ukrainian brand of exceptional items, produces woven wool coats named gunias, worn initially by Hutsuls in the Carpathian Mountains. Clothing brand JUL frequently uses well-known lyrics from Ukrainian songs as prints on T-shirts and sweatshirts.
These projects make a huge difference; they remind people of where they’re from and give a sense of pride. Besides, products like this are usually in high demand among tourists, as they are authentic and unique.
3. Small companies are more agile
Small companies don’t need months (or even years) to make a single decision or implement a more effective working process. As a result, they can test new technologies and systems faster than big companies to figure out what works for them.
Small businesses are not afraid of bold decisions. They create trends instead of following them, and here’s why:
Successful entrepreneurs achieve wealth because they believe in what they are doing and inject personal core values into how they build a business: Wealth is their reward; not their god.Lahle Wolfe, founder and CEO of LA Wolfe Marketing
To wrap it up — shop small
It’s not about a single initiative; it’s about a mindset. It doesn’t take much to support and cherish your communities. Start with a simple rule of thumb: every time you need to buy something for yourself, or a gift for your parents/friends/spouse/dog, try to search among small local companies. Merry Christmas, and happy shopping small!