“Shop small” may sound like another phrase de jour, but its impact is real: When you buy from a local merchant, that toy, book, sweater or takeout helps support not only that small business but also the locals it employs. The same is true for independent alcohol retailers, which are locally owned and, in many cases, family-owned businesses. My store, Wells Discount Liquors, employs 42 full-time and part-time employees. The longest serving employee has been with us for 33 years. The ripple effects of small businesses like mine are far reaching. As an independent alcohol retailer, we stock numerous local Maryland craft beers, wines and liquors — directly supporting other Maryland small businesses. The distributors that help us keep those products stocked are local, independently owned Maryland companies, too. Together, we contribute to Maryland’s economy not only through sales but, just as importantly, through supporting other Maryland small businesses. Big box stores crowd out small businesses; there’s no debating that. But it’s not just my livelihood that’s at stake; it’s the hundreds of people who, directly or indirectly, are supported by my store — my employees, brewers, truck drivers, salespeople, warehouse workers and many others.