The right tool, a perfect bouquet of flowers, a sterling pendant, each delivered with service backed by a trusted smile and a guarantee that gives consumers confidence that they’re strengthening our communities.
It’s all part of the experience that comes with shopping at small businesses.
Statistics tells us just how vital small business is to our national and regional economies. Small businesses pay 44 percent of total private-sector payroll in the United States, a 2011 U.S. Small Business Administration study found. And, in the 17-year period that ended in 2009, they created 65 percent of the country’s new jobs. What’s more, 89 percent of consumers say they believe that small businesses contribute positively to their local communities, evidence that continuing to support small business will help return our economies and communities to prosperity.
On Saturday, thousands of small businesses across America — including hundreds in the north country — will participate in Small Business Saturday, a counterpart of sorts to the much-hyped Black Friday and Cyber Monday that encourage people to shop at big-box retailers and online, respectively.
Small Business Saturday started in 2010 when American Express launched the effort to shine some light on small businesses during one of the country’s largest annual shopping weekends. In 2011, more than 100 million people shopped at independent small businesses during the one-day push.
Lost somewhere between the faceless transactional experience of online shopping and the large big-box stores is the experience of shopping in stores owned and run by your neighbors. Small-business operators return our hard-earned dollars to the local economy to help build better communities. This weekend take some time to visit your downtown or business district. Get to know the storeowners who are working hard to help our Main Streets shine more brightly this holiday season.
No matter what’s on your shopping list, slow down and support the businesses that truly invigorate our economies and bolster our communities. Let’s support those in our towns and cities who are creating real jobs for our future.