NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Across Hampton Roads this holiday season, you might consider hitting a local spot instead of a big brick-and-mortar box store.
In downtown Norfolk, you’ll find a hub of local businesses at Selden Market.
“If we continue to support the local economy, [it] will continue to stay around. You know, it does benefit the community,” Werther Leather Goods owner Derek Shaw said.
Shaw is already preparing for the big day ahead.
“50 percent of our sales will come in the fourth quarter, so there’s a lot of anticipation, especially during the summer. You’re just building up your inventory,” Shaw said.
Shaw creates leather goods like wallets, belts and bags all by hand.
He says it’s good to support the big businesses, but when you buy something locally, about 70 percent of those dollars spent stay in the local economy.
“You may come in and buy a wallet today… Then Friday night is pizza night. I’m going down to Granby Street Pizza and I’m going to buy something there… Then I’ll get something for my mom at Lorak — I hope she doesn’t watch this — but you know, we support other businesses,” Shaw said.
Anna Akers, who owns Lorak jewelry a few stores down, agrees.
“We shop local, we live local, we vacation local,” Akers said.
Akers creates all her jewelry from start to finish. She says it’s not just about business, but job opportunities, too.
“We’re fortunate to have several employees, and if I can hire more people, that’s local people,” she said.
She says it’s all about where those spending dollars ultimately end up. When you shop small, there’s a more direct line to a meaningful impact.
“We need your support. You shop with us, it’s going to put my daughter through school, it’s going to put food on the table, it’s not going to give [Amazon owner Jeff] Bezos another yacht,” said.
Many of these stores are open their normal hours but have special deals.
You can also track local businesses in the area using the LOVEVA app.