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Small Business Saturday: The Benefits of Supporting Local

With Thanksgiving and Black Friday in the U.S., many of us are spending lots of money online in order to savour week of deals. But there is another important, inspirational holiday that is far less well-known to take note of, and that is Small Business Saturday.

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday falls directly after Black Friday, and its focus is on supporting local business. In 2019, we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, and what better time than to spread awareness on a day that promotes personal growth and development through supporting and being involved with our community?

Black Friday and Cyber Monday are typically looked at as the kick start to the holiday season, putting us in the mood to shop. Between celebrating our loved ones, activities like Secret Santa, and the promise of huge savings from every store, we’re ready to put our wallets to use. We are naturally drawn to the big box stores for optimum savings, leaving small and local businesses in the lurch.

Small Business Saturday, or SBS, aims to remind consumers that local businesses need your support to stay alive. While larger superstores might promise convenience and ultimate savings, they can’t offer the charm and sense of community as your local mom-and-pop shop.

It doesn’t matter if you own your own small business or want to get involved in your community, there are plenty of reasons to buy local and support small businesses.

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Benefits of Supporting Local Businesses

As of March 2014, there were over 28.2 million small and local businesses contributing 63% of the new jobs offered from 1993 to 2013. If that’s not a reason to support small business, what is? Small and local businesses create jobs for their neighbors, investing in their communities.

The Trickle Effect

Supporting local businesses almost invariably leads to even more support of local businesses: small businesses are more likely to utilize the service of other small businesses. That local coffee shop is more likely to use the locally-owned bank than the bigger chain stores in your area, meaning that when you buy a frothy latte from them, you’re supporting more than just their small operation.

In fact, $68 of every $100 that you spend locally remains within the community.

Chain restaurants contribute half as much money to the community as independent restaurants, while chain retailers contribute merely 1/3 as much as local retailers.

Keeping Americans Employed

Of the 327.5 million people living in the United States, 77 million are employed by independent businesses. Local businesses create jobs for your community, going above and beyond the existing contributions they make.

Taking Control of Your Health

Local farmers are less likely to use the chemicals that you may not want your family to be consuming. It’s much easier to know what’s going into the food you eat when you can speak to the individuals who grew it, or at least those who work on the farm. When you shop at your local farmer’s market, you can ask the vendors exactly what you want to know about their products.

Embracing Your Community’s Unique Personality

Without local business, a community loses its unique style and individual personality. Each independently owned business contributes a unique aspect to your community’s flavor. If we don’t support our local businesses, our towns will fill up with chains and big box stores.

While bigger stores certainly contribute something to society, we don’t want every community in the world to look exactly the same. After all, variety is the spice of life, why not spice things up?

Getting to Know You

Local businesses provide a warmer, friendlier customer service. With fewer employees, it’s far more likely to be able to get to know a customer by name in order to build not only a friendly, professional rapport but create actual connections within your community. This is such a valuable resource from a local business that corporate businesses like Starbucks try to replicate this connection.

If you have an issue with a product, you won’t need to sit on hold waiting for a customer service representative, you can talk to the person who sold you the product—someone who probably knows you well. If you don’t get to talk to the person, you can still sense the passion behind those who sell the product, they work there because they love it.

While a superstore may claim to offer more convenience, what could be more convenient than buying from someone who cares about catering to your personality, likes, and dislikes?

Not Like Everybody Else

You may save a small amount of money by shopping at the bigger, chain retailers, but you’ll also end up with the same products that they offer to everyone else. Buying locally means finding unique, one-of-a-kind items that you won’t find anywhere else.

You can give your home a special, unparalleled vibe just by shopping locally.

Support Local

Consider saving some energy and staying home this Black Friday—you’ll still be able to reap the benefits of Cyber Monday, and many retailers are already offering their Black Friday deals online. You can skip the lines and still enjoy the deals.

Instead, head downtown or to any area with independent retailers and local business within your town on the Saturday after Black Friday. Many of the smaller businesses in your area will take part in Small Business Saturday, and some even offer some killer deals on this inspirational day.

You can have fun shopping while feeling good about the fact that you’re supporting your community and helping it thrive.

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Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman

Rhiannon Gessaman is a student and freelance writer who, from the time she began penning letters to the moon, knew she wanted to spend her life writing. She has written for such publications as Self-Love Soup and Astrology Answers. She is a late bloomer who decided to return to college... Read More

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