News Column

Save Some Holiday Shopping for Small Business Saturday

Nov. 20, 2012

Joyce Lobeck, The Sun, Yuma, Ariz.

shopping bags

Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday. Known another way as Shop Local Saturday, Nov. 24 will be dedicated to supporting small businesses on the busiest shopping weekend of the year.

It's a matter of Yumans keeping their dollars in the community and supporting the small businesses that are owned and operated by their fellow residents -- their friends, relatives and neighbors, noted Ken Rosevear, executive director of the Yuma County Chamber of Commerce and a staunch advocate for shopping locally.

"When you look at the unemployment figures and the economy, it's crystal clear we need to keep our dollars in the community," he said.

Not only that, a small business may also have the better deals.

"People think of the big box stores for bargains," Rosevear said. "But often the better deals are with the small businesses. They have to be competitive. They're literally trying to stay in business."

As for service, it's much easier to resolve any need for service when dealing with a local business, he said.

But most of all, shopping locally from locally owned business is good for the community, Rosevear said, urging people to consider that before shopping online or taking their business out of town. Small businesses are the backbone of the community, providing jobs, paying sales taxes and supporting worthy causes like youth sports and charities that help the less fortunate.

Joni Brooks, publisher of the Yuma Sun, agreed. "We need to get people thinking about shopping locally and encourage them to support the locally-owned businesses."

Over Thanksgiving weekend, millions of dollars will be spent shopping for holiday gifts. A lot of attention is focused on the great deals from big-name, nationwide retail stores.

Small Business Saturday was launched three years ago by American Express OPEN, a "holiday" held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage shoppers to patronize the small, local businesses in their communities.

Last year, more than 100 million people came together to "Shop Small" on Small Business Saturday.

"While Black Friday and Cyber Monday can offer great deals from larger companies with a strong online presence, Small Business Saturday offers the unique opportunity to support local businesses that probably spend their earnings in our local economy," said Matthew Fehling, president and CEO of Better Business Bureau, which is working with American Express to increase awareness of the importance of supporting locally owned businesses.

Directly supporting the communities in which we live, for every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to The 3/50 Project, a small business advocacy group.

Source: (c)2012 The Sun (Yuma, Ariz.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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