Small Business Saturday is TOMORROW - November 26, 2011! I'm so excited!
Tomorrow, I'll be joining others across the country as we all come together to support small businesses in our areas- and you should, too! Even if all you do is buy one or two things, you're helping to make a small business successful- a small business run by a 'real' person who knows the frustrations and rewards of working hard every day to follow his or her passion.
And why would you want to shop small businesses? Well, I don't know anyone who is exactly anti-small business. But I'll give you some compelling reasons, anyway.
Support the Local Economy -
One study done by the American Independent Business Alliance in Austin, Texas showed that for every $100 spent at a small business, $45 remained in the local economy, compared to only $13 of every $100 spent at large retailers. Now that is huge. And it makes sense. Besides the fact that small, local businesses are run by real, local people who spend their money in the area, a lot of the business' money stays local, too. Small businesses often support other small businesses when at all possible (or, I know I do!). So there's a need for an add-on? They hire a local contractor. Tax time? They hire a local tax consultant.
Small businesses are 'real people' -
I'm not a hugely political person, but I certainly know that the way that we change the issues with the economy that we currently have is not going to be by burying our money in the backyard or by giving it all to huge corporations in the name of being 'frugal'. Things will get better when we support each other. And small businesses ARE real people. They're your neighbors and friends. Support their businesses and you are supporting them.
Specialty and locally-made goods -
What is more special than an item you know the story behind? The antique you bought after chatting with the knowledgeable dealer for half an hour, the chair in the corner that was made by a local wood-worker instead of bought off the floor of a large mall retailer, the portrait on the wall that was created when you commissioned an independent photographer with a real vision instead of a cookie cut-out backdrop - It's apples to oranges, isn't it? Sure it may cost more, but it's worth more. You're buying an item that is the result of passion and dedication.
A personal experience -
For the most part, as you already know, it's a totally different experience walking into a mom & pop store or hiring an independent photographer. A more personal experience. Someone there notices you when you walk in, truly cares whether or not you leave happy with a shopping bag in your hand. Since photography is what I know, photography is what I'll talk about here- if you value photos that show who you, your child, your loved one is instead of just what he or she looks like, hire someone who truly cares. Along those lines, if you want to buy a gift that is special and unique, something that shows you care, a small business is a good place to start.
And if you want to extend that to those on your list this year, a great idea for helping to support small businesses into the New Year when business gets a little slow? Gift certificates to local businesses! I know you don't buy gift certificates with the intention of your giftee making additional purchases, but they often do. And that's not a bad thing- it means they're loving what they're getting, and you're helping them get it!
I hope I've given you some food for thought or at least a little drive to join in on Small Business Saturday. But if you can't get out shopping tomorrow, that doesn't mean you've lost your chance! There are still plenty of shopping days left until Christmas! And your support will mean the world to the small businesses you frequent this year- I know it does to me! Happy shopping, everyone!!