You’re driving through your hometown, passing by chain restaurants and popular retailers, when you turn the corner and recognize the family-run pizza place that’s been there since you were a kid. But maybe instead of a pizzeria, it’s a barber shop, an ice cream parlor, or a clothing boutique. No matter what type of store it is, we can all recognize that these small businesses are cornerstones of our local communities. That’s why March 29th is dedicated to celebrating beloved mom-and-pop businesses all over the nation! Read on to learn how mom-and-pop stores benefit us and how we can support them in return.

What is a Mom-and-Pop Business?

Typically, mom-and-pop stores are small, family-owned, or independent businesses that operate out of a single location. They can include a variety of businesses such as restaurants, bookstores, salons, bakeries, auto repair shops, grocery stores, florists, and more – all of which serve the owners’ local community!  Yet even though these stores may be longtime staples in your city, they also have to compete with the big-box retailer that’s just popped up down the street. Unlike these large retailers who have more buying power and revenue coming in from all over the country, mom-and-pop businesses are vulnerable to changes in the local market and can’t always offer customers the same discounts, deals, or bulk offers. Yet, that doesn’t mean there aren’t certain advantages that mom-and-pops have over big retailers. . .

Benefits of Shopping Mom-and-Pop

There are plenty of reasons to support mom-and-pop stores, from gaining a valuable customer experience you can’t find elsewhere to making your neighbor’s dreams of owning a business possible. Here are just three of the reasons that you should consider shopping at a mom-and-pop:

  • Personalized Products
    While large retailers have a specific selection of goods that they need to maintain across all their locations, mom-and-pops are much more flexible. As a result, you can often find more niche, one-of-a-kind products at your local mom-and-pop – products you likely won’t find anywhere else. Plus, their flexibility allows mom-and-pops the ability to quickly pivot their offerings and customize services to fit whatever it is that you may be looking for!
  • Uncommon Customer Experience
    Whereas chain stores can see higher turnover, mom-and-pops often develop a team of dedicated employees who are also genuinely invested in the business. As a result, you can usually find yourself running into familiar faces each time you shop at a mom-and-pop store – and they’ll more than likely remember your face too! When shopping at one of these stores, the employees are ready to remember your name, your preferences, and help find the product or service best suited to your needs. Not to mention that the lack of corporate oversight means these shops are more willing to be flexible with their hours depending on what customers require.
  • Giving Back to the Community
    Since mom-and-pop stores often serve a single community, it’s no question that they’d be deeply committed to their local area! With a vested interest in seeing the community, its citizens, and the local economy thrive, mom-and-pops are more likely to do outreach work, source ingredients, services, or components for their products from other local vendors, and hire local talent. In fact, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce notes that last year, small businesses such as mom-and-pops made up 40% of the U.S. GDP, employed 62 million Americans, and created 5.5 million new jobs after the Covid-19 pandemic. That’s a big impact for a small business!

How to Best Support Mom-and-Pop Businesses

Now that we know the importance of mom-and-pops and what they can do for you, let’s look at what you can do to help celebrate their businesses:

  • Buying Power
    First things, first – the best way to help a mom-and-pop business grow is by adding to their profits. In other words, feel free to purchase something! Think about the items you typically buy at big-box retailers and research whether you can purchase them from a mom-and-pop instead. Who knows? You may find the same item for a better deal or a higher quality at a local business!
  • Become a Regular
    If you love the products or services that your neighborhood mom-and-pop has to offer, then you could become a regular shopper. Shopping at a small business regularly can help make a big difference to their bottom line – especially during slow periods. In the same way, you can even consider joining a membership if the business has one to earn special perks as a committed shopper while helping the shop increase revenue.
  • Leave a Review
    It may seem small but writing a few words online about your positive experience at a mom-and-pop can make a real difference in helping that business gain exposure. What you say about the business’s customer service or the quality of their products can be influential to the next person looking to buy something from the same store. So the next time you leave a mom-and-pop with a smile on your face, post your review and help that business earn another customer!
  • Spread the Word
    Just like writing a review, you can also talk to your friends, family, and social media followers about a mom-and-pop business that you love! There’s nothing more powerful than word-of-mouth marketing, and in the age of social media there’s a much broader audience that you can connect a business to. In addition to telling the people in your life about a mom-and-pop, you can also interact with the business on their social media accounts, repost information about their sales, or connect your followers to the business’s website. All of these small actions can add up to give a big boost in visibility to a mom-and-pop, helping them gain a new audience and potential customers in the process!


March 29th may shine a spotlight on mom-and-pop businesses, but that doesn’t mean you can’t support them all year-round! After all, these businesses do so much to help your local community and the local economy, so it is only fair to return the favor. Between spreading the word to others and choosing to make a purchase (or several) from a mom-and-pop, you can play a part in keeping these mainstays of the community open and keeping a local business owner’s dream alive!