Lily Hope, a small business located in Juneau, Alaska. Shop small this holiday season

Lily Hope is an art, jewelry, and weaving artist located in Juneau, Alaska. Her business is supported by Spruce Root CDFI.

Shop Small this Holiday Season with CDFI-funded Small Businesses

Read time: 7 minutes

OFN’s shopping guide features small businesses funded by CDFIs that received grants and loans through the Finance Justice Fund.    

The holiday season is here and before you fill your Amazon cart with stocking stuffers and holiday treats, consider shopping small. Shopping small and local this year is a win/win: You get unique gifts for loved ones while fueling the economy, supporting community-based jobs, and advancing economic justice.  

Why Shop Small?

Shopping locally and supporting small businesses during the holiday season is a simple, but powerful way to give back to your community. Even more:  

  • Small businesses are the backbone of our economy. It’s no secret that the economic landscape has been tumultuous since the pandemic. But what’s lesser known is how small businesses have spurred economic development that has benefitted regional and national economies.  
  • Small businesses create stable jobs. Hand-in-hand with economic development, small businesses are pivotal in creating jobs. In fact, they employ almost half of U.S. workers!  

Many OFN members fund small business entrepreneurs who have historically faced challenges accessing loans and capital, in particular, entrepreneurs in low-income and predominantly Black and brown communities. In addition to providing funding, CDFIs in OFN’s network support small businesses with technical advice and support, financial planning, and other business services to help ensure their long-term success. That’s why we say that CDFIs are “capital plus.”  

Funding small businesses in under-resourced and underrepresented communities is financing economic justice by providing entrepreneurs from all backgrounds with the opportunity to make their dreams a reality.  

Three years ago, OFN launched the Finance Justice Fund, a socially responsible impact investment to raise capital from corporate and philanthropic partners and deploy it in communities least served by mainstream finance. 

Through Finance Justice Fund grants and loans to it members, OFN has invested in minority and women-owned small businesses, helping to close the racial wealth gap in rural, urban, and Native communities experiencing high rates of persistent poverty. 

Now you too can help these businesses. Our annual Small Business Saturday shopping guide features small businesses funded by CDFIs that received Finance Justice Fund grants and loans. Put your money toward special gifts with huge impact! 

Shopping Guide

Under The Stars Glamping

Wolverine, MI | A Unique Glamping Experience in Northern Michigan 

Living where other people vacation is something Kelly Gunsell and Allen Nash celebrate with Under the Stars Glamping, their startup business in rural Wolverine, Michigan. The veteran- and woman-owned business offers mobile tent rentals for all types of celebrations, including weddings and retreats. They’ll even set up your campsite at the Blissfest music festival.

“Glamping provides an avenue for outdoor experiences without the need to buy an RV or additional camping gear and for people who want to be outdoors without ‘roughing it,’” Nash said. Under the Stars Glamping also offers luxury picnics and in-home-themed slumber parties. 

Funded by Northern Initiatives  

Dabney & Co.

Kalamazoo, MI | Craft Cocktails and Live Music Lounge 

For years, Daniel May has been a driving force behind community celebrations in Kalamazoo, including a Juneteenth bar crawl that left an indelible mark on the city. Recognizing a significant void for People of Color in terms of safe and comfortable spaces, May took it upon himself to create one. Dabney & Co., a chic cocktail lounge nestled in the heart of downtown Kalamazoo, pays tribute to the Black mixologists and service staff who, according to May, “built this industry.”

John Dabney, a former enslaved man who invented the “hailstorm” mint julep, is one, and the mint julep lives on as Dabney & Co.’s signature drink. 

Funded by Northern Initiatives 

Indigenous First Art and Gift Shop

Duluth, MN | Art, Gifts and Goods from Indigenous Artists and Entrepreneurs 

Indigenous First Art and Gift Shop sells a variety of quality gifts, art, and goods with a mission of advancing, promoting, and investing in Indigenous artists and entrepreneurs. Their holistic, mission-based dedication to building opportunity for Indigenous people is rooted in a vision of health and vibrancy, honoring the resiliency of our community and perpetually acting with future generations in mind. 

Funded by Entrepreneur Fund  

Bailey Builds

Duluth, MN | Contemporary Wood Mosaic Art and Gifts 

Wood Mosaic Artists, dog lovers and pun aficionados, Anna and Nathanael Bailey are the Duluth, MN based owners and wood artists behind Bailey Builds. The couple’s first large project was revitalizing a 1930s-era Texaco gas station into a storefront that would not only showcase their artwork, but also the work of their beloved artisan community. They decided to call their little slice of paradise Bailey Builds and Friends. 

Find the Holiday ornament and decoration specials.

Funded by Entrepreneur Fund 

Baby’s on Broadway

Little Falls, MN | Specialty Baby Boutique  

Baby’s on Broadway carries everything from all-natural infant skincare to mom-care products to quality-crafted nursery furniture all at competitive prices. They are your one-stop-shop for everything that parenthood brings. Baby’s on Broadway also offers one-on-one appointments with a trained baby enthusiast to help you register and find the products that will fit your new lifestyle. 

Find the 2023 Holiday Toy Catalogue.

Funded by Entrepreneur Fund 

Lily Hope

Juneau, AK | Art, Jewelry, and Weaving Artist 

Lily Hope, born and raised in Juneau, Alaska, is a Tlingit Chilkat Weaver raised by two full-time artists. She teaches both finger-twined styles extensively in person (and virtually since COVID-19), in the Yukon Territory, down the coast of SE Alaska, into Washington and Oregon. She sells art prints, earrings, books/resources, cards weaving kits. Lily lives in Juneau, Alaska, with her five children.  

Funded by Spruce Root 

Wildfish Cannery

Klawock, AK | Culinary Fish Shop  

Located in Klawock on Prince of Wales Island, Wildfish is a three-generation family business that was founded in 1987 by Phyllis Meuller, the local school bookkeeper who saw the community’s need for custom seafood processing. Today, Phyllis’s grandson, Chef Mathew Scaletta, runs Wildfish Cannery selling a variety of seafood products including smoked salmon, smoked herring, smoked octopus, smoked geoduck, smoked salmon caviar and more! 

Funded by Spruce Root 

Killik Hot Sauce Company

Cleveland, OH | Gourmet Hot Sauce  

Killik Hot Sauce Company is owned and operated by Michael Killik: veteran, father of four daughters, stroke, and heart attack survivor. In his previous life, he taught middle school science, which is what gave him the passion to discover the scientific process of fermentation! After his stroke 15 years ago, he had to make a career change into restaurant management, where his passion for food blended with his passion for science. 

Funded by ECDI 

Stylish LéNese Boutique

Cincinnati, OH | Modern Women’s Fashion Boutique 

Stylish LéNese Boutique is a Fashionably Modern boutique in Madisonville’s Business District and seeks to bring women together to look their best.  A Cincinnati native and UC fashion grad, Shawnte LéNese, owner and designer, moved back to Madisonville after spending 15 years designing for major fashion retailers such as New York & Co. and Macy’s in New York City.

By opening Stylish LéNese, she hopes to spread some joy to customers who visit and give back to the community she’s from by supporting charities and women’s causes in the Cincinnati area. 

Funded by ECDI  

Guajillo Restaurant

Huntington Park, CA | Mexican Restaurant with Gift Card Options 

Guajillo Restaurant, led by seasoned restaurateur Victor Reyes with over 15 years of industry expertise, stands out as a culinary treasure in Southern California. Boasting locations in Huntington Park, CA, and South Gate, CA, Guajillo is celebrated for its authentic Mexican cuisine, drawing inspiration from the vibrant flavors and traditional recipes of Mexico City.

With a commitment to delivering a taste of genuine Mexican culinary heritage, Guajillo Restaurant offers an inviting dining experience that reflects the rich cultural tapestry of its inspirations. 

Funded by TMC Community Capital 

Looking for more gift ideas, check out these other CDFI holiday guides:  

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