It’s always a good time to ‘shop local’… specially now

Holiday shopping? Here’s something to keep in mind. Although the ‘Small Business Saturday’ on November 24, which followed on the heels of ‘Black Friday’ the day after Thanksgiving, was a one day event sponsored by American Express in many cities across the country, the idea behind it is worth remembering the rest of the year as well, especially now as we look for gifts for friends and loved ones during the holiday season.

Created in 2010 as a day to support local businesses, which tend to create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods, the nationwide event has grown so much in just a few year’s time that close to 90 million consumers decided to “shop small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.

“At the root of it, people really want to support small business in their community,” said Doria Camaraza of American Express. “The small businesses are one of the largest job providers, and the profits that they make stay right in the community.”

So rather than splash your cash in the “big box” national chain stores, why not support the small independent stores owned and operated by your friends and neighbors?

Speaking of big stores… that big proposed Publix Supermarket that’s planned to go into the “potato field” property in Cutler Bay along with other shops and restaurants will be in limbo a little bit longer it seems. The decision to accept or deny the developer’s application for the big complex was due to be made at the last Town Council meeting on November 28, but the applicant’s presentation took awhile, as did a lot of public comments and the council’s discussion of each of seven variances requested, so by 1:30 a.m. (yikes!) the bleary-eyed council members who were one short anyway decided to postpone the vote until January of next year. It’s still likely to be approved, but as they always say, the devil’s in the details.

And in Palmetto Bay there seemed to be some devilish goings-on with the TV system that broadcasts the meetings that looked as if it might impede coverage of the swearing in of the new vice mayor, John DuBois, and new seat 2 councilman, Tim Schaffer. There were enough tech problems to give village PIO Bill Kress an ulcer, but after some frantic moments he saved the day by tracking down the misaligned cable connections and getting the hook-up working again.

Supporting the troops. Also in Palmetto Bay, Bill James, the post manager of American Legion Post 133, tells us that as part of the recent Veteran’s Day observances, the students of Redland Christian Academy and Southwood Middle School made hundreds of special posters and cards honoring area service men and women, and the hand made artwork was on display at the post. It certainly made the significance of the day more real and personal to those students, and was appreciated by the veterans of Post 133.

Musical chairs update… We hear from a reliable source that former Cutler Bay Town Manager Steve Alexander has been hired as Temporary City Manager of South Miami, a municipality that has displayed rather mercurial feelings and support for the recent string of managers holding that position in the “City of Pleasant Living.”

Newest World of Beer franchise opened Dec. 3 in The Palms at Kendall’s Town & Country Center, raising over $1,000 to benefit Sylvia’s Angels, recently-established non-profit to help employees in service field with medical and life expenses connected with breast cancer. The Foundation is named for a 33-year-old South Florida woman who underwent double mastectomy for survival.

Can’t find enough to eat in Kendall? Next opening appears to be Shulaburger at the Kendall Market Square shopping center at SW 117 Avenue and SW 104 Street. Job application sign is on the door and workmen are preparing the premises for what appears to be an early-2013 opening.

Thought for the Day:

Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson

Gary Alan Ruse and Richard Yager contributed to this column.

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About the Author

Michael Miller
Michael co-owns Community Newspapers with his brother Grant and serves as Executive Editor of the group of newspapers. He enjoys writing about local politics and area businesses. Michael can be reached at

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