As the holidays approach, Bend loves to celebrate its many small businesses with days devoted to shopping at the locally owned spot around the city (and picking up some sweet deals at the same time). There’s “Shop Small in Downtown Bend”, where you can gather stamps at local stores to enter a prize raffle, and “Small Business Saturday” in the Old Mill District, among other events. If you’re interested in supporting small businesses more this year, here are several tips that you don’t even need a special day for!
1. Shop Local for Holiday Gifts
Focus on local businesses when buying gifts for your loved ones! Avoid the big brands and chain stores, and instead shop locally in Bend to find your goods. There are many skilled artisans producing all kinds of great gift options throughout Bend. Stroll the Old Mill District or Downtown Bend to find some of the best options, like soaps and cosmetics, hardy plants, a wide variety of locally sourced clothing, and more. Think about getting gift cards to local restaurants as gifts, too (these can also be purchased online)! If you’re wondering if a product line is local, just ask or look them up on your phone to double-check.
2. Visit a Local Taphouse and Enjoy Food Trucks
Bend’s taphouses are food truck gathering spots (also true of nearby Redmond) and are by nature all local businesses. These are great locations to take friends for beers, enjoy a casual night out, or bring the family for an afternoon snack – and there are multiple, delicious cuisine options so everyone can find something they want. The good news is that these places are also ready for winter: Crosscut has plentiful outdoor fires and a cozy indoor space, The Lot has heated benches, and other spots have a variety of fire or radiators, plus indoor seating, to stay active throughout the colder months!
3. Check Out Online Shops and Delivery Options
If you’re practicing social distancing and watching out for the health of elderly family members over the holidays, there’s good news: Many of Bend’s local shops have online components, or support services like Doordash and GrubHub for easy delivery. Check out Oregon Body and Bath, Dudley’s Bookshop Café, Looney Bean Café, Wren and Wild, and many, many other shops with websites where you can peruse and purchase. Find a tasty restaurant you haven’t tried yet and order in for a cozy evening. All of this will help!
4. Leave Positive Reviews Online
Many small businesses depend greatly on online reviews to survive. Leave positive ratings and reviews after a good experience, and like or follow them on social media. Facebook, Google My Business, Instagram, and similar platforms are all important for local companies.
5. Try Out the Ale Trail
The Ale Trail is an excellent way to support local breweries while trying out top-notch new beers in places you may not have tried yet. In 2020, the Ale Trail requirements to get rewards have been lowered to only five stops (to get your passport stamped) and a selfie you can email in. Plus, there are six new breweries on the Trailer to check out, even if you’ve tried it before.
Remember, Moving to Bend can help you find the hottest spots to eat and the coolest new art and culture spots if you are looking for more ideas.