Shop Local For the Holidays

You know about “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday,” two major retail shopping events that kick off the holiday shopping season.

But how about “Small Business Saturday?”

This year, if you have the opportunity to shop on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, make it a point to visit local, “mom-and-pop” small businesses.

Patronizing local stores and services keeps money in the community, which in turn is spent on other goods and services.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States last year. Over the past two decades, they created 65 percent of net new jobs. For every $100 spent in locally owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the small-business advocacy group, The 3/50 Project.

Local sales generate local taxes, which are used for basic government services such as fire and police protection, road repairs, parks and recreation services. Why go on the Internet to shop, or to retail stores out of town, when the money is needed here to fight fires, catch crooks, fill potholes and purchase new library books?

Some have argued that they need to shop online or at big box retailers because our local businesses sometimes lack variety of products and good value for the dollar. We disagree on both counts and we question whether those comments are based on recent consumer research or outdated impressions. Our position is that locally owned stores usually meet or exceed the expectations of their customers in terms of both price and selection.

When planning where to spend your dollars, make a locally owned business your first choice this Saturday, and beyond. You’ll find many of them advertising this week in the Sentinel.

Jeff Mitchell

Publisher

   
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