Small Business Saturday is Nov. 26 and it is the most important shopping day of the year. Why? Because spending your money in locally owned businesses gives back more to your community’s economy.
A 2005 study in Andersonville by Civic Economics found of every $100 spent at locally owned businesses, $68 stays in the area, while $32 buys supplies that must be imported from elsewhere. Of every $100 spent at a non-local business, $43 stays, $57 leaves.
Chain stores are owned by bigger companies that are not headquartered in Miami and they hire lawyers, accounting firms and other suppliers from their hometowns, not here. When you shop at a small business, you’re supporting your local economy and your local job base.
Small Business Saturday is a movement about Main Street, not Wall Street. The day originated in 2010 as a marketing campaign launched by American Express as a counter punch to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It quickly was recognized as more than a gimmick because small business drives our economy.
The movement now is supported by the Small Business Administration but American Express still plays an active role promoting the season and will give you double bonus points when you Shop Small from Nov. 26 through the end of the year. Go to shopsmall.com to register your American Express card.
All in all, it’s a better deal to shop small. It is easier to find great gifts, and only small businesses can offer the most genuinely friendly customer service. You can even shop locally online by buying a gift certificate or a gift to ship.
When your day is done, consider dining small at a favorite local restaurant or watering hole and help usher in a new tradition of Small Business Saturday Night.
Amy Donner is the director of advertising at Miami’s Community Newspapers. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.