It’s officially the holiday season, which means it’s time to start thinking about holiday shopping. With Christmas fast approaching, the City of Porterville offers plenty of opportunities to get all of that holiday shopping done locally. This year, there’s no need to worry about driving to bigger cities when Porterville offers various small businesses all around town.

“When you shop local you allow merchants to find a niche with certain products,” said Monte Reyes, President and CEO of the Porterville Chamber of Commerce. “This improves expertise locally by providing specialization. By shopping in town, especially at small businesses, you encourage owners to partner with local suppliers and vendors to create ultra-local products that can’t be found anywhere else. A great example is Stafford’s, who try to use local ingredients, vendors, and suppliers when appropriate. This helps create sustainable business to business networks.”

Stafford’s, Porterville’s own chocolate shop, offers deals all throughout the year. 

“Shopping local benefits the buyer and the seller,” said Stafford’s owner Rob Taylor. “I make a point to do business with those who do business with me.”

Shopping local doesn’t just keep Porterville money circulating in Porterville, it also keeps the doors to Mom and Pop shops open. Supporting a local business ensures the local community members who own those businesses have a steady stream of clientele, and greatly effects the local economy. 

“Property values tend to rise in an area where successful businesses are located,” said Reyes. “As Porterville grows, it is crucial that small business has a finger on the pulse of the community. The pulse can only be taken if the consumers continue to reach out. Use your neighborhood shops when possible.”

Shopping local isn’t just limited to retail options. Locally owned restaurants, auto shops, salons, pet groomers, car washes and more all benefit from consumers who choose to spend their dollars locally.

“Shopping local is the true essence of community,” said Reynaldo Herrera, one of the three owners of the recently established Taco Truck Cantina. “It allows entrepreneurs to spread their love, which is why they took the risk to do business in their community to begin with.”

Shoppers tend to favor big brand name stores when it comes to holiday shopping and gift buying because those stores are seen as a “one stop shop.” Although this can be convenient, it’s not that in line with the purpose of the holidays; spending time with friends and family. And shopping local gives those a chance to gift people with something unique? 

For those who are considering rushing to stores on Black Friday, or pouring over the internet on Cyber Monday, Porterville is offering an alternative to those long lines and overcrowded aisles. Small Business Saturday, which is scheduled November 30, promotes the city’s small local businesses and offers shoppers the chance to snag those gifts without the pressure of arriving to a big brand store early or stressing about a specific sale item.

“A great time to give (shopping local) a try is on Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday and before Cyber Monday,” said Reyes. “Try your best to use this day to visit local merchants. And if you have a big Cyber Monday, try to let the local shops know what you couldn’t find. Remember if we want more choices locally, we will have to make the choice to shop local.”


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