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How to buy local products on Amazon and support small businesses

Buying local through Amazon is getting easier. The site lets you shop by item, and region to enhance the buy local experience.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — When shopping online, many people aren't aware they can still shop at their favorite small businesses. And they'd probably be surprised to learn some of the items they buy are made right in their hometown. 

Plenty of consumers make it a priority to buy from local businesses and to support industries at home. Even on Amazon, which doesn't exactly scream small business, consumers can search for small businesses in their area. 

Independent businesses are part of the backbone of the economy. Even part of November's holiday shopping week has Small Business Saturday, and even on the massive, worldwide Amazon, people can shop local and small. Ironic, huh? 

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"And it breaks down by type of business, whether it's stuff like swimming equipment, or electronics, or whatever, and you can break it down by who owns it," Ian Sheer from CNet said. "Veteran-owned, Black-owned, family, and of course you can even break it down by location."

RELATED: Back-to-school shopping traditions resume as students return to face-to-face learning

In 2019 and 2020, CNet reported that more than 1.9 million small and medium businesses listed their products on just Amazon. With Christmas only 115 days (and counting) away, how can consumers buy those products? 

It's easy. On Amazon, click shop local or support small. It's even possible to shop small based on what part of the country you're in or what part a consumer wants to support. Sheer has noticed the trend and has written a few stories about it in CNet.

“What Amazon has offered is a way for small businesses to get products to market with not a lot of technical know-how,” Sheer added.

WCNC Charlotte is always asking "where's the money?" If you need help, reach out to the Defenders team by emailing money@wcnc.com.

Amazon isn't the only option for small businesses to get started online. They can utilize major retailers like Walmart and Target, too. The internet and pandemic have made it easier than ever to get local goods from local stores.

A great example of this is Charlotte-based chemical engineer Carli Abram. Despite the pandemic, Abram was able to get her haircare products in Walmart stores and it's really taken off. 

"It's exciting," Abram shared. "It's what I've been putting in the work to do, been challenging as a small business owner and a woman."

RELATED: This Charlotte chemical engineer launched a haircare brand that's taking off

The economy has hit businesses hard over the last 18 months. Many have had to rethink their business model and sell more online. In an odd twist of fate, the pandemic changed the way people shop, likely forever. 

Contact Bill McGinty at bmcginty@wcnc.com and follow him on Facebook.

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