When you're burning through cash from your bank account on Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, small business owners hope you will reserve some of that money and time to spend with them on Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is an annual event created by American Express during the economic recession in 2010 that encourages consumers to shop at small businesses during the busy holiday season. It takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, on Nov. 27 this year.
"We will definitely promote something and try to get the community to come in on Small Business Saturday, " said Misty McMillion, owner of Copper Lane Boutique in the Welcome, North Carolina, community.
McMillion said the special day designation helps consumers understand the importance of shopping at local small businesses.
That's just one reason given to support small businesses. Several other reasons are touted on various financial and retail websites. Here are some other reasons you should shop at local, small businesses according to MoneyCrashers.com:
A Stronger Economy. Local businesses hire local workers. In addition to staff for the stores, they hire local architects and contractors for building and remodeling, local accountants and insurance brokers to help them run the business, and local ad agencies to promote it. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a community development organization, points to numerous studies that show more than half of each dollar spent in a local store returns to the local economy. By contrast, large chain stores tend to displace as many local jobs as they create because they often drive local retailers out of business. According to the studies on the ILSR’s list, when people buy from local small businesses, their spending creates around twice as many local jobs as money spent at big chain stores.
A Closer Community. Shopping at local businesses gives neighbors a chance to connect. It’s easier to get to know someone you often see at a local coffeehouse than someone you only wave to on your way in and out of your house.
A Cleaner Environment. Having stores in your immediate neighborhood means you can leave your car parked and do your errands on foot or by bicycle. Fewer cars on the road means less traffic, less noise, and less pollution. If you made just one trip each week on foot instead of making a 10-mile round trip by car, you would reduce your annual driving by 520 miles. That would save about 24 gallons of gas and keep 0.2 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, according to calculations from the Environmental Protection Agency.
A Great Place to Live. Local businesses make your town a better, more interesting place to live. One suburban housing development looks much like another, but a town center with lots of occupied storefronts has a feel that’s all its own. Local eateries, bars, bookstores, food markets, pharmacies and gift shops all combine to give a place its unique character.
Tommy Davis, co-owner of Missions Pottery and More in Lexington, North Carolina, said he believes more and more people are coming to understand the importance a vibrant, thriving small business sector has on cities and counties.
"We are so blessed with local support year-round," he said. "People are supporting small businesses more and more."
His small business also features the work of 60 regional artists. In addition, his pottery is featured monthly in the "Our State" magazine store, garnering him customers from across North Carolina.
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Blythe Leonard, owner of leather goods shop Blythe Leonard LLC and BL Makers, which sells the American-made products of 100 vendors in Thomasville, said it is important to support small, local businesses. "Supporting your local makers, artists and small businesses keeps our economy thriving," she said. "For every $10 spent locally, typically at least seven of (those) dollars remains in the community."
She said to think of the small business like you would the making of a quilt.
"...Each small business in our community makes up the fabric – the soul – of our town and without the thread, or people, to hold it together the town can have unexpected gaps or holes."
If you are new to the area or just need some suggestions on what small businesses are around, use the following American Express: Shop Small map link and allow access to your location. It will bring up a list of small retailers near you.
Jill Doss-Raines is The Dispatch trending topics and personality profiles senior reporter and is always looking for tips about businesses and entertainment events, secret and new menu items, and interesting people in Davidson County. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and subscribe to us at the-dispatch.com.
This article originally appeared on The Dispatch: Small Business Saturday: Why support regional business across America