We have all seen the stories about the shipping containers off the coast holding everything from appliances to building materials, clothing, electronics, toys and everything in between. With the holidays fast approaching, there is more talk of shopping early, shopping local and, if you need to mail packages, being prepared.
Small business in every sector has taken a punch from the pandemic. We are lucky in New Mexico to have a well-established and resourceful small-business community that can meet your holiday shopping needs. And holiday shopping is a smart and easy way to support New Mexico businesses.
Find locally owned business
We have several chambers of commerce that have a list of their members by type of business and contact information on their website or can respond by a call to their office. I did a web search for chambers of commerce in the Albuquerque area and found helpful information on their services and membership. For example, the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce has a holiday shopping guide on its website. https://www.ahcnm.org/2021-holiday-sopping-guide.html.
The N.M. Restaurant Association has an online directory you can search by community and type of food served. https://web.nmrestaurants.org/directory.
Not all the members in the organizations are locally owned. Make your gift-giving decision by doing research on ownership, understanding they all employ New Mexicans. When an out-of-town friend or family member asks what they can get you, steer them to the local businesses for gift cards.
We can get in a rut as we drive around our city. Make a point of looking for the local businesses that you may miss on your normal commute. See the local galleries, bookstores, gift shops and stores.
Very small businesses can be found at the holiday arts and crafts shows. Do an internet search for arts and crafts shows to find events.
Watch for events organized by local business, such as the Nob Hill Stroll, the Old Town Stroll, Pop-Up Markets, Rail Yards and other areas of our community creating unique experiences.
Small Business Saturday, Nov. 27, is a national campaign sponsored by American Express promoting shopping at small businesses in local communities across the country. You can enter the name of your community or ZIP code to get a list of participating small businesses, https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small.
Give training or education
There are talented people offering training or education on many different topics. For the traditional student, a local tutor may be just what they want and need. Make it “more gift-like” by making your own gift certificate. For the non-traditional learner, there are skills taught by local people in countless areas. The training can be found at a local school, college or university, or provided by an independent person. To name just a few: cooking, languages, woodworking, photography, pottery, acting and all the arts.
Remember local sellers
Do not overlook the opportunity to get just what you want from someone local who is selling. Craigslist, Offerup and NextDoor are easy sites to search.Have a great season shopping local.
Holiday shipping deadlines 2021
The following are the recommended last days for shipping gifts domestically for Dec. 24 delivery:
• Ground: Check the UPS website for a quote.
• 3-Day Select: Dec. 21
• 2nd-Day Air: Dec. 22
• Next-Day Air: Dec. 23
Note: UPS says its service guarantee is suspended on most packages, but, starting Oct. 18 and until further notice, it is has made some “operational adjustments,” which includes extending delivery commitment times for UPS Next Day Air from 10:30 a.m. to noon.
FEDEX SHIPPING DEADLINES
The following are the last days to ship gifts within the U.S.:
• FedEx Home Delivery, FedEx Ground: Dec. 15
• FedEx Express Saver, FedEx 3Day Freight: Dec. 21
• FedEx 2Day: Dec. 22
• FedEx 1Day Freight, FedEx Extra Hours: Dec. 23
• FedEx Same Day: Dec. 24
USPS CHRISTMAS DEADLINES
The United States Postal Service’s recommended “send-by dates for expected delivery” before Dec. 25 in the 48 contiguous states:
• Retail Ground: Dec. 15
• First-Class Mail: Dec. 17
• Priority Mail: Dec. 18
• Priority Mail Express: Dec. 23
Note: Ground shipping deadline to Alaska is Dec. 2, First-Class and Priority deadline is Dec. 18, Priority Mail Express is Dec. 21. For Hawaii, Dec. 17 is the deadline for First-Class and Priority Mail and Dec. 21 for Priority Mail Express.