Monthly Archives: February 2022

Supporting Small Businesses Strengthens Communities

At BasketWorks, we’re all about supporting small businesses and building community. I mean, jeez, we’ve been in business almost 25 years, so we can speak with some authority on this! 

Not only do small businesses support each other, but they can give a community the uniqueness that reflects its personality and welcomes visitors. Small businesses bring prosperity to communities both financially and by building relationships among its members. 

Today, we take a look at how this happens. 

Financial Advantage

As the little guys and girls, small businesses can have a big impact on  local economies

Local businesses tend to leverage other local businesses to fulfill their needs. You see, it doesn’t always have to be a dog-eat-dog (or cat-scratch-cat) competitive world. Whether it’s a restaurant buying produce from the farm down the road or the local web designer outsourcing graphic design work to a power partner, when entrepreneurs support each other, the entire community wins. BasketWorks walks the walk by referring other basket companies when the need arises. 

It’s not just an increase in business done locally that provides a financial advantage either. All these transactions between businesses lead to:

  • Keeping taxes local
  • Increased employment and income
  • Improved standard of living
  • Increased discretionary income inside the community

Community Identity

Small businesses tend to reflect the ideals of the communities in which they operate. 

Becoming representatives of their communities allows these businesses to cater to the specific needs of the local customer base, creating a true relationship between the business owner and their customers. 

Take us, for example. BasketWorks is a member…hold on a second…forgot to sound the 🚨SHAMELESS PLUG ALARM🚨. Where was I? Ah, yes, member. BasketWorks is a member of the Northbrook Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the GOA Regional Business Association, which further connects us to the communities we serve. With local founders, small businesses truly reflect the local culture, and as a result, can contribute to that identity in a meaningful way. 

This is a benefit for both businesses and customers. It encourages the owner to cater to their local client base, and this, in turn, encourages the customer to shop locally and build a relationship with local entrepreneurs. 

Environmental Impact

How a business operates can have a significant impact on the environment, and small businesses tend to focus more on how they affect the environment by doing the following:

  • Recycling
  • Using fluorescent or led lighting
  • Paperless documentation like email receipts
  • Using sustainable products like printer paper, cleaning products and to-go containers
  • Composting

I will take this opportunity to pat ourselves on the back and note that we recycle all of our incoming boxes, and we use clean fill in the bottom of baskets, including  packing peanuts we receive in shipment and the bits of cello we cut off the top of the wraps.

We also accept clean packing materials, we’ve installed LED lighting in our office, and we make a concerted effort to order products within 500 miles to reduce our carbon footprint. We can’t leave out composting. Rather than toss coffee grounds (from our daily nectar of the gods) and fruit peels into the garbage, we compost them.

Small business is good business. Small business owners are truly the lifeblood of their communities by helping their local economies through job creation, tourism, and supporting fellow businesses.   

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Why’s It So Darn Hard To Shop For Valentine’s Day?

The gift-giving experience is a dichotomy: we literally don’t have to leave our houses or even our couches to shop for and order gifts. Yet it can feel like we’re pulling our own teeth because we are terrified of buying the wrong thing and of feeling shame and embarrassment over it. 

Is there a bigger contradiction between the joy that a holiday symbolizes and the stress and anxiety that comes with celebrating it? Among the holidays that cause the most shopping angst for people is Valentine’s Day. I have to laugh at this excerpt from an article in Forbes that lists 20 reasons why not everyone is completely happy during Valentine’s Day:

1. Being reminded that you’re not in a relationship

2. Being reminded that you are in a relationship

I’m not judging anyone who gets overwhelmed by any holiday; rather, I’m here to examine why we do and what you can do to put your mind at ease and actually enjoy Valentine’s Day. 

Too Much Chocolate To Choose From 

Sometimes too much chocolate is a problem, as in there being too many options to make a decision. Milk chocolate, dark chocolate, white chocolate, chocolate dipped this, chocolate infused that. Where do you even begin?  I mean, if only there were a retail site where one could shop for items. 💞💞💞SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT – VALENTINE’S DAY EDITION💞💞💞 

Oh sorry. Once again, someone tripped and set off that alarm. Since they did, you can find a small but mighty selection of gift baskets with delicious chocolates on this page

It’s Difficult To Be Original 

Maybe chocolate’s not your thing. Sometimes people want to stand out and present a gift that’s outside the box (Get it? Like a chocolate box that you’re standing on the outside of? See what I did there?) The good news is that if you want to go the food route, there are tons of other options. 

Sticking with sweet, gourmet donuts and cookies are all the rage, and there are definitely those with Valentine’s themes. For savory, how about preparing a charcuterie and cheese board? 

You Can’t Find Roses 

It does happen. 

If you wait until the last minute, you may be R.O.L or Rose Out of Luck. Fortunately, florists and other places that sell flowers have other choices. A while back, The Washington Post ran a story on this very topic. The florist owner who was interviewed suggested orchids because they’re perceived as being exotic and lasting longer than flowers, followed by tulips and carnations. 

You Can’t Find “The Perfect” Gift

Here’s a tip: there’s no such thing as the perfect gift. It’s as elusive as a lawn in Chicagoland that’s not covered in snow right now. 

Think of it as the right gift instead of the perfect one. How do you find the right gift?  Make it personal. Personalized gifts show kindness, thoughtfulness, and empathy, you know, everything your Valentine wants to receive. 

Writing The Card

This is a pressure-cooker no matter how you pressure-cook it. If you’re in a new relationship, and this is your first Valentine’s Day together, you need to knock it out of the park with the sweetest, most poetic and lyrical card message ever. On the flipside, if you’ve been married for 20-plus years, how could you compose something original? 

Three words: Make it genuine. Tell them what they mean to you, why you appreciate them, and why you love them. Give examples, like how they helped you when you were experiencing a challenging period, or made you laugh, or how they listened to you when you needed to be heard. 

It turns out that Valentine’s Day shopping doesn’t have to be fraught with worry and aggravation. Hopefully these tips will allow you to look forward to the holiday and quality time with your loved ones. 

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