Small Business Saturday was launched several years ago to encourage people to spend money in their local businesses during the busiest shopping retail shopping weekend of the year. While traveling between several specialized local shops is not always as convenient as one-stop shopping, think about how shopping at local businesses can impact the local economy.
According to Shop Small statistics, 89% of people believe that small business contribute positively to their community. They do this through sponsoring local events, supporting student activities, and paying taxes that improve infrastructure, and pay the salaries of police, fire and medical personnel.
In addition, small businesses are the backbone of our economy when things fluctuate. The Small Business Association states that American small businesses provide 55% of all US jobs and over the past 24 years they have added mobs when big businesses have eliminated them.
Think about it like this:
A cycling enthusiast decides to open a bike shop in your downtown. He hires a local student to help run the shop. The business grows and he hires two more locals. With the extra help, the business begins to take off, expanding into repairs and guided bike tours.
More sales could mean more local taxes, which would fund things like roads, parks and bike trails, creating an environment that is more bike-friendly and results in more business for the local bike shop. (Shop Small 2012)
The reality is that it probably isn’t possible to do all our shopping in historic commercial districts. But we can take a shot at looking there first, or making specific purchases in the shops that are in our districts and not just on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the entire year.
As a passionate supporter of home-grown businesses, I encourage you to check out your historic commercial district, MainStreet or Arts and Cultural District and share a little love this year!