I'm sure you've all seen the social media memes and heard the radio ads reminding you to shop at small businesses during the holiday season, but sometimes that is easier said than done. Big chains can be more convenient, sometimes less expensive, and more reliable for returns and exchanges. But as a jewelry designer and small business owner (and supporter) myself, I have found that there are a number of benefits that you may not have thought about when shopping "small." Here's a few tips and ideas that can help you (and thus your local business owners) when shopping small this holiday and year round. Most of these apply to craft or handmade vendors, but you may be able to apply this to other small businesses like car repair, retail stores, print shops, etc.