Black Friday, the traditional kickoff of the holiday shopping season, falls on Nov. 23 this year. There’s sure to be droves of lakes area consumers waking up early on Friday to flock to retailers and stimulate the economy the day following Thanksgiving. We don’t begrudge those who look upon Black Friday as a holiday in and of itself, especially since the economy could use all the stimulation it can get. However, we’d like to suggest that lakes area residents do their part to make Small Business Saturday a new, up-and-coming tradition. Participating is easy, and will go a long way toward not only stimulating the lakes area economy, but fostering the area communities and their residents in many ways.
Small Business Saturday, held this year on Nov. 24 across the nation, is a day when people are urged to celebrate and support small businesses in their hometowns. That’s as easy as visiting any locally-owned and operated small business this Saturday and spending some of your hard-earned money there. While that may sound like a small thing, it can provide some big dividends for local business owners, their employees, your community, and even yourself.
It’s been shown time and again that local purchases have a tremendous economic benefit in the community, because local businesses bank locally, hire local accountants, attorneys and designers, and advertise in local media. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
The owners of local businesses and their employees often live in the community where they do business. That helps maintain local assets, including the tax base, to foster a sustainable future for the community. Local businesses provide an anchor for neighborhoods and their infrastructure by paying municipal, county, and state taxes. Those taxes help pay for local schools, public safety services, road maintenance, libraries, parks and recreation programs, and more. And because local businesses provide jobs for people who live in the community — members of your family, your friends, and neighbors — shopping local supports your fellow citizens and their families.
Unique local businesses make a critical contribution to a diverse local character. They will identify the community’s needs and meet them. Their product selection is based on what those in the community want to buy. In doing so, they are offering customers a more compelling selection and satisfying unique community needs. And customers can expect superior customer service when patronizing a local store owned by a member of the community.
Much of the money you spend in a neighborhood business is in turn spent at other local businesses or used to pay wages, which initiates a domino effect that bolsters the whole community. So please, keep your dollars in your community by shopping local this weekend.