‘Tis the Season to Support Your Local Small Businesses

Christmas gift with tree in background

Most of my super-organized, plan-ahead friends have already completed their holiday shopping.  They were up at 3:00 a.m. on Black Friday and took advantage of the online deals during Cyber Monday and the following days.  I’m still making my list and checking it twice.  And while I love a great deal (I’m currently subscribed to at least five group buying deal sites such as Groupon), I’m hoping that holiday shoppers this year will realize that there’s more to a good deal than just a rock-bottom price.

I’m talking about thinking about where the money goes for all your holiday purchases.  Yes, I know that many of us are still recovering from the economy (I’ll definitely be giving some homemade gifts this year), but I still have a list of people to buy for, and like all consumers, I have a choice of where to spend my money.

I loved this year’s Small Business Saturday, which took place on November 27, the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday was a national campaign to support small business in communities all over our nation.  It was a reminder to stop focusing just on price and focus on the store, restaurant, etc behind the price, to remember that small businesses are the driving engine to our economy.  Small businesses employ half of all private sector employees and pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll (view even more stats on the importance of small businesses to our economy here).

And it seems that I’m not the only one who noticed.  According to American Express, forty-one elected officials, including Illinois Gov. Quinn, declared the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday,” and roughly 1.2 million people “liked” Small Business Saturday on Facebook.

So remember to support your local small businesses as you do your holiday shopping!  Yes, you might have to dole out a little more cash than you would for a rock-bottom, big-box store, super deal price, but that money stays in your community.  It supports the small businesses that give your neighborhood character and employ local people – and that’s a gift that keeps on giving.

Danae Kovac is Manager of Marketing & Special Projects at the Women’s Business Development Center.  Follow the WBDC on Twitter (@WBDC) or find us on Facebook.

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