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How to Shop: Small Business Saturday

This blog post is probably more of a “why to shop” rather than a “how to shop.” While bargains galore can be found on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday is about supporting the locally-owned small businesses in your community. Think of it as altruistic shopping. But there’s no reason why you can’t get something out of it, too.

Malls and box stores are fun and satisfying. They create jobs and offer quality products at affordable prices. But what truly makes every community, big or small, unique are mom-and-pop shops. Locally-owned businesses add personality and flavor to the cities and towns where they are established.

Industry, technology, and commercial progress are good for the economy, but they don’t have to mean the downfall of small businesses. So keep the community vibe in your hometown alive by shopping Small Business Saturday on November 29th. Let’s come together as consumers and maintain a future for all small businesses. Here are my tips on how to shop Small Business Saturday.

  1. Know the small businesses in your area. Whether you’re new to town or have lived there for awhile, you may not be familiar with all the locally-owned businesses. Begin by checking out the American Express Shop Small® Map. Small Business Saturday is a concept created by American Express. But you don’t have to use your credit card to participate. You can also scour your local newspaper or weekly publications for advertisements from small businesses or browse through Yelp.com. This website is a great resource for discovering small businesses you’ve never heard of.
  2. Restaurants count, too. Supporting Small Business Saturday shouldn’t be limited to retail. Think locally-owned restaurants, beauty salons, art galleries, and more. So long as you’re doing business with a small one, you’re doing your part.
  3. If you’re visiting another town, purchase souvenirs from a small business. And I’m not talking about cheap refrigerator magnets or shot glasses. But a necklace that’s handmade by a local artist or an old book about the city you’re visiting and purchased at a locally-owned antique shop make amazing souvenirs.
  4. Look for the unique. Shop for something you couldn’t get anywhere else. Original, different, and creative items are special and your gift recipient will keep it forever.
  5. Make shopping small businesses a habit. Birthdays, anniversaries, and moments of gratitude are the perfect opportunities to shop the small businesses in your community. Small Business Saturday doesn’t have to be just a once-a-year event. Incorporate the concept into your regular shopping routine.

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