Shop local for Independent Retailer Month

Abigail Lee, Science and Technology Editor

Since 2011, the month of July has been recognized as Independent Retailer Month, a nationwide initiative aimed at supporting small, local independent retailers.

Started by Tom Shay and Kerry Bannigan, the effort evolved out of their own separate work in the 2000s to highlight independent retailers. Shay and Bannigan eventually consolidated their campaigns, and Independent Retailer Month has now expanded to the U.K.

The campaign cites the “positive social and economic impact” of independent retailers and their role in “creating more sustainable cities, towns and communities”. The goal of Independent Retailer Month is to create an influx of consumer engagement with small businesses. 

If you want to participate in the month-long celebration of local businesses, consider shopping throughout Hershey. The websites of the Downtown Hershey Association and The Hershey Partnership provide an overview of Hershey area businesses as well as the latest information on events. In addition, Visit Hershey Harrisburg includes businesses located in Harrisburg.  

Small businesses across the nation were heavily impacted by the pandemic and weathered reduced sales for months. Many had difficulty recovering, and some had to close. 

According to the CNBC, small business closures reached a record in May 2020, with 23% of businesses closing around the country. The percentage fluctuated for the remainder of the year, but by February 2021, it rose once again to 22%. In Pennsylvania, 30% of small businesses had closed by that February. 

After the economic hardships of the past year, small businesses need community help more than ever. This July could be the perfect opportunity to help businesses rebound from the uncertainty of the pandemic.