Top Five Benefits of “Shopping Small” – Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24th! #SmallBizSat

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November 24th is Small Business Saturday, a day to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving.  American Express started Small Business Saturday in 2010 to remind us all of the benefits of shopping at independently-owned small businesses, on the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

How can you make a difference by “shopping small”?  How would your community suffer if there weren’t small businesses?  These are the top five benefits of “shopping small”:

1.  Economic benefits and jobs

Small business is a major employer and we all know how important it is to our community to have as close as we can get, to full employment.  Having a job, a good job, affects so many things in our neighborhoods.  People keep their homes instead of having houses standing empty.  We all take better care of our homes and do needed maintenance when we can afford it.  Crime of all types, including abuse, is lower when the unemployment rate is low.  For every $100 you spend at a local business, $68 will stay in the community!

2.  Local Character and Diversity

Have you traveled lately and been surprised by how many towns look alike?  With national chains and franchises prospering more than individually owned small business, there tends to be the same restaurants and stores in almost every town!  If we didn’t have independently-owned businesses, I would miss the character and diversity of small business which tends to be unique, quirky, and full of charm.

3.  Environmental Impact

Small businesses help our towns keep vibrant downtown areas.  When we shop in those walkable centers, rather than driving from large store to large store, we reduce pollution, and use less non-renewable energy resources.  (Not to mention the health benefits of walking!)

4.  Personalized Service

On a selfish note, I like when the person helping me in a store knows my name.  They know my shopping preferences.  Our kids go to school together, or I see them in church on Sunday, and they want to help me.  I like getting deals.  Like Kristen Bell said, “I want to get a bargain…. but not at the expense of someone else.”  I am willing to pay more for something if the customer service is exceptional.  That will frequently happen at a small business.

5.  Unique Product Selection

Have you ever taken your daughter to a birthday party and three kids have on the same outfit?  Often small businesses offer more unique products and you won’t “see yourself coming and going”.  Products specific to your local area, sports teams, and more can be found at small businesses in your hometown.  One of my favorite things to shop local is baked goods.  MMMM, nothing beats fresh bread or delicious pastries, baked fresh that morning in a local bakery.

In my little town, we have Tonya’s Pattisserie.  Chef Tonya, graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, grew up in the  area.  After holding executive pastry chef positions in Chicago, she returned to fulfill her lifelong dream of owning a patisserie.  Her mother, Ruth Ann Walters, has been at her side in the kitchen since she opened over three years ago.  A perfect reason to shop local for a specialty item!

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of American Express. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.

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