Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Small Business Saturday
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? In my family we have always taken great pains to be sure that the Yule-time holidays don't overshadow the greatest holiday of all. I mean, really... It's a holiday that every American can celebrate. There's no religious undertones, no ethnic history, celebrating questionable history. (Ok yes, the Europeans and the Natives didn't get on all that well ultimately, but it's a celebration of survival and plenty, not conquest.)
But as a business woman I have to recognize the simple fact, this starts a shopping rush. But Black Friday? Is there really anyone who looks forward to lining up in the wee hours of the morning to fight someone for the last Tickle-me-Elmo? To a rushed and harried day of desperately searching sales. To waiting in long checkout lines as miserable clerks run up your credit card debt. Is this really what the Holiday spirit is all about?
Make this year different, make Friday a "Buy Nothing" day, stay home with your family, play in the leaves, enjoy your turkey cranberry sandwiches and some hot cider. Leave the ravenous hordes to fight for scraps.
But if you have shopping to do, consider joining in Small Business Saturday. Go to the little clumps of locally owned boutiques, stroll the street with friends and family, take your time perusing the goods. Often your small local stores have items you just can't find in a Big Box retailer, so you will bring home something unique!
Need more reasons? It's estimated that $0.45 of each dollar you spend in a locally owned shop stays in your community, through the salaries of the workers and the profits of the business, and the fact that these community members often shop local as well! Building strong sustainable communities requires diverse small businesses.
Shopping Local ensures a unique variety of goods is available, and makes every city and nieghborhood different. It makes sure you have options. Also, no local shops I know of are opening at 2 in the morning, their employees get to enjoy Thanksgiving with their families and plenty of sleep.