EDITORIAL: Shop at local businesses today on Small Business Saturday

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PHOTOGRAPHER:

Christmas is less than a month away and you still need some unique ideas for gifts without staggering through the malls and shopping on your phone.

Lucky for you, today is Small Business Saturday.

The Saturday following Black Friday and before Cyber Monday is an ideal time to find little gems right in your local community.

By supporting local businesses, you’ll not only be helping yourself round out that Christmas list, but you’ll also be helping support in a tangible way the businesses that contribute so significantly to the financial health and vitality of our local villages, cities and towns.

It’s called Small Business Saturday, when local chambers of commerce and local marketing groups join a national effort to promote small businesses.

Businesses on this day offer special discounts and other incentives to shop at their stores.

When you visit your local business district, browsing the shelves, looking in the windows and sitting down for a bite to eat on Small Business Saturday, you’ll find many reasons to purchase items and gift cards today and in the future.

Downtowns with healthy small business communities supported by residents are vibrant places to visit, shop and dine.

But other than finding great gifts and rediscovering the charm of your local downtowns, there are plenty of other reasons to patronize your local businesses.

Local businesses are the lifeblood of the American economy.

According to a report the Small Business Administration, small businesses account for about 44% of economic activity in the United States, create two-thirds of new jobs and deliver almost 45% of the country’s gross domestic product.

They pay a significant portion of local property taxes that support local governments and schools.

They sponsor community events like festivals, concerts, parades, holiday decorations and beautification efforts. The names of their businesses are the ones you’ll find on the jerseys of every kid playing youth soccer, baseball, softball and football in every local youth sports program.

Studies show that if you spend $100 at a local business, roughly $68 stays within your local economy.

You’re not getting that return on your investment ordering online from Amazon or plunking down your credit card at a big-box chain store or restaurant.

To find Small Business Saturday activities and discounts in your local community, Google “Small Business Saturday” and the name of the community you want to shop in. Or visit the community’s Facebook page.

To start at a national level and work your way into a local community, visit: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/.

Small Business Saturday is a good investment of your time, a good investment in your holiday shopping and a good investment in the businesses that do so much for our local communities all year long.

Categories: Editorial, Opinion

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