Since diving into the wholesales-distribution corner if the PHCP-PVF industry, I’ve spent a lot more time thinking and learning about family-owned businesses, small-to-mid-sized businesses and all of the behind the scenes that goes along with building a career in one of these businesses. I’m proud to say that from learning from you all, I’m much more aware of the importance of supporting the independently owned businesses within my community. And I don’t think I am alone in this attentiveness. There is a “shop small” movement happening, largely due to the hit that many sectors of small business took — and continue to endure — from the pandemic.

For instance, Domino’s Pizza has recently advertised a campaign where five of the national pizza chain’s locations across the country purchased more than $100,000 worth of $50 gift cards from restaurants of all kinds in their local communities. The gift cards were given out throughout early November to roughly 2,600 Domino's delivery customers. Upon receipt of the gift cards, Domino's customers were encouraged to support locally-owned restaurants instead of ordering from Domino's or popular food delivery apps. 

In the commercials for this campaign, Domino’s explains that when customers order via outside delivery apps (Uber Eats, Postmates, Door Dash, etc.), it negatively affects the company’s bottom line. I bet many consumers had never thought about that before. 

In a recent press release, Dominos’ COO Russell Weiner explained, “Our franchisees benefit from being part of a brand that has operations and technology built for delivery. However, many small restaurants don't have a system for delivery, and third-party delivery apps are charging local eateries high fees to deliver, which are taking away much of their earnings."

With the campaign, Domino’s has simultaneously brought attention to the affect delivery apps have on small restaurant businesses, directly supported small businesses by purchasing gift cards, and encouraged its customers to do the same. Not to mention, it has taken a stance as a brand as an ally for small businesses. And I think that’s pretty darn cool.

I believe many consumers today want to shop smart, support local businesses and make a difference. Campaigns like the Dominos one are resources for consumers to get started, or great reminders to choose to support local over convenience.

Maybe you as a distributor can reward your loyal customer base or employees by giving them some gift cards to locally-owned restaurants or businesses. Or maybe you can partner with a local, independent business for your next event.

The importance of community support is buzzing, and I believe we will continue to see the “shop small” movement grow over time. Participate, support and reap the benefits of it within your own business.