Shop local on Small Business Saturday

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By BEN HOMEYER

Every year, Gallup asks people how much confidence they have in various institutions. The results aren’t surprising. Only 8 percent had “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of confidence in Congress. Big business scored 21 percent. That’s no better than TV news. Small business, on the other hand, came in second with 67 percent of respondents considering it trustworthy. Only the U.S. military scored higher.

While politicians bicker with each other and Wall Street focuses on the 1 percent, Main Street remains the lifeblood of our economy and our communities.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for most of the jobs in this country, and small businesses create most of America’s net new jobs.

You probably don’t know the owner of a big department store, but there’s a good chance you know a few small-business owners. They’re our friends and neighbors. They’re among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity

Small businesses do a lot to help our community, and, on Nov. 28, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, we’ll have an opportunity to thank them.

That’s because Nov. 28 is Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Black Friday.

Black Friday, of course, is when families wake early, sit in traffic, compete with other drivers for decent parking spots, jostle with crowds and stand in line to buy things probably no one asked for or really wants.

Small Business Saturday is the opposite of that. Small Business Saturday is when you shop at small, locally-owned businesses for things you simply can’t find at the mall, and instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner who cares very much about making you happy so you’ll come back time and again throughout the year.

The campaign to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving started in 2010 as an effort to give small businesses—many struggling to get out of the red after a long recession—a much needed shot in the arm.

Since then, it has become a powerful movement to give back to the brick-and-mortar establishments that line our Main Streets and keep our communities vibrant.

When you shop local and shop small, you’re supporting your community. When you shop at a chain store, most of the money goes back to some corporate office somewhere else, but when you shop on Main Street, most of that money stays here at home.

This year, make a difference in your community. Shop local on Small Business Saturday.