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Five gift ideas for small business owners

Posted by Jason Keith  December 9, 2011 06:05 AM

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If you're like me, holiday shopping hasn't even crossed your mind yet.

Waiting to the last minute to buy holiday gifts is often rite of passage in December. But no doubt a holiday list is waiting in an iPhone, on a to-do list in the kitchen or rattling around in your head. But when thinking about what to get the loved ones in life, don't forget the small business owners in your life. Being a part of a community means frequenting local businesses that work tirelessly year round to provide the highest quality products and services. When you have a good relationship with a small business owner, sometimes even a small gesture can mean the difference between a good year and a great year for them.

But what do get a small business owner? Here are five suggestions on both the low and high end, depending on how generous you're feeling this year:

Basket of brainstorming toys: under $30
Small business owners are typically thinkers, which means that whenever they have time alone they're trying to dream up new ways to make their business better. That means they could use a noise maker, a mindless puzzle to keep them preoccupied or even a stress ball to squeeze while on the phone. Package as many of these "brainstorming" toys as you want into a basket so wherever they are, a toy to fool around with and help them think is never far away.

Donation to favorite charity: minimum $25
It's rare to find a small business that doesn't have an affiliation of some kind with a local charity of organization. Giving a donation to the one that means the most to them is always a nice thought and doesn't have to break the bank. Even if they are a member of a local chamber of commerce, that's a donation possibility as well.

Small business book: $30 (if you go with a new book)
Knowledge is power, and giving it is never a bad idea. There isn't a small business in the world that can't learn something new every day, including tactics or ideas on how to make their business more of a success. Amazon will give you hundreds of options to choose from, but a few suggestions include the Accidental Entrepreneur by Susan Urquhart-Brown or the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.

Cross pen (or another brand): $40 - $250
If there's one thing an entrepreneur is always looking for, it's a pen. To jot down ideas, scribble notes or sign a check. That's where a nice ballpoint pen or even an engraved pen can make for a great gift.

Quickbooks: $200 - $500
This would only be for those truly in the giving mood, or for those with family members that own a small business. But Quickbooks has become the de facto accounting software for any business that can't outsource that function. It allows you to forecast, budget, generate profit and expense reports and makes life that much easier come tax time. For any small business with just a few employees, it's a must have.

What will you get the small business owner in your town or family? What would add to the list?

This blog is not written or edited by or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About this blog

Jason Keith has been working for and with small businesses in the New England area for more than 10 years, specifically small, micro businesses. Born and raised in Massachusetts and a former journalist, he provides a unique perspective on the issues facing small businesses locally and nationally.To reach him directly email

This is a personal blog. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone.

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