First of all, Happy Thanksgiving! I hope everyone is enjoying their breaks and all of the food. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays and I don't think it gets enough credit, what with it coming right before Christmas.
As everyone knows, tomorrow is the biggest shopping day of the year. A lot of people will be trekking out early to start knocking items off of their Gift lists. The next day, November 27, will be the first of what will hopefully be a long standing shopping tradition. It is called Small Business Saturday, and is sponsored by American Express, a company known for their support of one group of their clients, small business owners.
Small businesses, or businesses with less than 100 employees, are a vital part of local economy. They create jobs and leadership positions, stimulate the economy, on a large as well as small scale, and bring money to their communities in the form of taxes. They also create a local culture unique to their area. See the Small Business Administration website for more information.
I have a few personal reasons for wanting support small business in addition to the ones I listed. I plan on becoming an entrepreneur after graduation. I believe that this is the best way for me to make a difference in the world. Also, my favorite part about my hometown is the downtown area, with unique coffee shops and stores that sell merchandise unavailable at WalMart. I also believe that small businesses are more ethical than larger ones, often without trying. They are more likely to employ full-time employees, and they create less waste.
Entrepreneurs are brave and creative people. They took a chance, often times giving up a steady income in order to see their dreams come true. For this, I believe they should be rewarded. We often do not think to visit small businesses because we don't know about them. We like what we're used to. Small businesses do not have marketing budgets that can accommodate major campaigns like corporations do or enough money to rent prime locations. But if we let small businesses die, we will lose an important part of our economy. One that encourages people to take chances and give us more choices.
Small Business Saturday's goal is not only to get consumers to shop small this Saturday, but to frequent these places more often throughout the year. On Black Friday, consider visiting your local gift shop for some Christmas shopping, instead of the mall. You'll miss a lot of the crowds and might even discover your new favorite clothes store. While you're at it, you will be keeping the money you spend within your town, rather than to National Headquarters on the other side of the country.