Shop Small All year long
Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019, was Small Business Saturday across the country and while that’s a great promotion, great communities like ours must be doing much better!
To keep our community great, we need to shop locally every chance we get all year long! Most of us do that already, but it is important to be reminded, too.
At Thanksgiving each year we express our thanks for the many blessings in our lives, such as family, friends and a great community to live in. We talk about “giving back’’ to our community and we have many worthwhile opportunities to do that.
There is another very important way of giving back to your community that you may not realize or even think about and that is shopping local, shopping at home.
Starting in 2010, the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year has been designated Small Business Saturday to encourage people to shop with their hometown businesses.
Shopping local, of course, has been the key to keeping our small towns going strong economically for generations and the message is just as important today as it’s been in all the previous years.
Specially-designated days like Small Business Saturday can help business people get some face time with some customers who might not normally shop there. And the consumers not accustomed to shopping locally can get to see what they are missing - the personal connections and experiences they don’t get from online or big box retail shopping.
Shopping local should not just be a symbolic one-day-a-year event. Anyone who wants a stronger, more vibrant local community needs to support their small businesses every day. They are the key to economic revitalization. They play a vital role in creating the “sense of place’’ that gives some communities their competitive advantage.
Shopping local makes sure our community has the fire protection, the police protection, the ambulance service, the street and road maintenance and repairs and all the other services that we depend on. Shopping local makes sure we have public schools to educate our kids.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the private sector. Also, did you know, half of all Americans own or work for a small business?
We need our local businesses and they need us! Small businesses provide jobs and keep dollars circulating locally. Their owners have an active and personal interest in the well-being of the community. They live here. Their kids go to school here. They care about what happens here.
Successful local business owners are more likely to turn around and reinvest in the community.
When communities are vibrant, there are more high-paying jobs, and people can afford to shop. Quality of life improves. Everyone wins.
A purchase from a small business owner is an investment in your community. Who better to support than those who are working so hard to create a better future for everyone?
When you shop outside of the community, you know, the sales tax you pay on your purchases stays in those communities and does not benefit your local community.
You might think it’s mighty handy to shop online but did you realize that may be your only option if your town loses its businesses and you might be driving 20 miles in the future for a pack of chewing gum?
Likewise, you won’t ever find any online businesses supporting any of the youth soccer, baseball, softball, basketball or football programs in the community.
Everything goes away when a community dies. First it’s the businesses, then it’s the schools, then it’s the people themselves.
The bottom line? Don’t just shop locally on Small Business Saturday. Do it every chance you get, all year long.