Spend big, shop small

Spend big, shop small


This weekend is Small Business Saturday (SBS). It’s a day designed to give local retailers a jump-start in holiday sales, so don’t forget to spend some of your holiday budget at downtown businesses, too. 

Large department store chains have been offering Black Friday deals for years, and now online vendors have Cyber Monday sales. They both tend to take away proceeds from the smaller mom-and-pop stores that line our quaint main streets. Without patronage – especially during the often-regarded make-or-break holiday sales – these small businesses could end up in trouble. 

American Express realized that when they first launched SBS in Boston on Nov. 27, 2010. By the next year, the concept made it to the Senate floor, where a resolution to support SBS was unanimously passed, and by 2012 it was adopted in all 50 states. The idea caught on quickly and has grown in popularity every year since. It’s been documented that in 2016, 112 million people shopped small on SBS.

People are beginning to realize that it makes total sense to shop in small businesses. Since most are located nearby, less traveling makes it a whole lot more convenient than driving to a large shopping mall. There are usually not a lot of crowds to contend with either, and service is far more personalized when shopping in smaller stores. And it’s a whole lot friendlier, too. Many of the shop owners tend to live in the area or very close by, and have a vested interest in not only their business, but in the neighborhood as well. 

According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), approximately $68 of every $100 spent in a local business stays in the local economy. And smaller businesses tend to donate 250 percent more to nonprofits and community causes than larger businesses. 

This season, consider checking each item off on your holiday list by shopping at a business downtown. Shopping small seems like it would be a big investment in your community.