Friday, November 16, 2012

Five Benefits of Shopping Small Business Saturday, November 24th

Small Business Saturday

Even though Black Friday is fast approaching, don't forget about those small businesses in your local town, and make a point to shop on Small Business Saturday.  Here are just some of the benefits of supporting locally owned businesses in your area, this upcoming holiday season (and, year round).

Five benefits of shopping locally --

1) Builds a Stronger Local Economy --  This is a no-brainer.  If you choose to shop the big retailers and forget about those small mom and pop stores, they will slowly go out of business, leading to loss of job for locals employed there, as well as a loss of sense of community. I don't know about you, but every time I shop locally I receive the best customer service around.  It is a good feeling to have a local business owner know you by name, and want to make your shopping experience their top priority.  Do you get that when you shop big retailers?  I sure don't.  Just the other day, I spent 10 minutes trying to find a cash register open at a big retail chain, and no one on the floor working seemed to want to help.  Not good customer service in my book. Also, do you really want to look at empty storefronts as you drive through town?  This also hurts the local real estate market, when potential new home buyers are driving through and see that the town's local businesses are not flourishing.  They will probably look elsewhere. 

2) Small Businesses Can Pick and Choose What They Carry -- Unlike large retail chains who carry the same product, I love walking into small boutiques and stores and finding unique, one of a kind items.  I have a handful of shops in my downtown area which cater to local artists and display and sell their artwork, jewelry and other handmade products.  You don't see this in larger stores.  I love buying things I know where made here in the USA, and not made in China or other areas.  And, when you shop big retailers, you don't have a say in what they carry, where they get it from, or the price.  Oftentimes, I walk into a local shop, and the shop owner will work with you on a price, or will be offering a product or service at an affordable price, as they know that the economy is tough right now, and they want to help out the local consumer.  So, oftentimes,shopping with them is a win win, as they make a sale and you get a product for less than what you would pay at a big retailer.

3) Builds Local Community Support -- I know that in my town, when the town is putting on a community event, the small business owners are the ones who step and donate services, products and their time.  When was the last time you saw owners of big retailers rolling up their sleeves and getting to know the community as a whole.  Small business owners love their community and customers, and want to lend their support whenever they can.

4) The Money Spent at Small Businesses Stays in the Community -- When you shop locally, your money for the most part goes back into the local economy, thus enriching the community as a whole.  But, when you shop big retailers, your hard earned money goes to pad the pockets of the higher ups, who don't even live in your town, let alone your state.

5) Small Businesses Helping Each Other Out  -- I know as a entrepreneur that there are many local organizations and support for other entrepreneurs available.  There are weekly networking meet ups and socials, as well as free or low cost training at the local community college for those wanting to improve their business plans, etc.  Do big chain retailers offer this?  I don't think so?

Even though I have only listed five benefits of shopping locally, there are so many more out there.  So, this holiday season when you trying to put together your family's wish list and buy for those on your list, why not consider stopping by and checking out locally owned businesses in your area?  You will be surprised at the shopping experience as a whole, as well as the products and services you will find.  It wasn't until I began shopping locally that I realized how many wonderful products and services were right under my nose.  And, this upcoming Small Business Saturday, I will be heading to some of my favorite locally owned businesses, as well as trying out a few new shops that opened recently and are having sales. 

Learn more about Small Business Saturday, as well as shops available in your area, by visiting American Express' Shop Small website --

Disclosure: I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Express. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

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