So maybe you’ve decided to skip out on Black Friday this year. You might want to consider starting your local holiday shopping on Small Business Saturday instead. Held annually the Saturday after Thanksgiving since 2010, SBS is an awesome way to support local businesses in your community. Here are a few reasons why it’s a great idea to shop on Small Business Saturday:
1. You’ll help create jobs in the community
Money spent in the community will go back into it in the form of creating employment opportunities. According to the Small Business Administration, the 28 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of all sales in the U.S. Plus small businesses have provided 55 percent of all jobs and 66 percent of all new jobs since the 1970s. When you make a purchase at a small business, you are doing your part to stimulate the local economy.
2. Your tax dollars stay local.
Shopping at small businesses helps keep money within the neighborhood. A series of studies by the research firm Civic Economics found that 48 percent of purchases at local independent businesses go right back into the community, compared to less than 14 percent of sales made at chain stores. Your tax dollars stay locally, going toward public services, better schools, and libraries.
3. Small businesses give back to the neighborhood.
Small businesses go beyond writing a check to a local cause. They’re more likely to develop partnerships and strengthen ties with people in the neighborhood. Brick and mortar establishments can serve as community hubs, such as the coffee shop that holds open mic night or the pizza parlor that sponsors little league fundraisers.
4. Shopping at one local business helps other local businesses.
By shopping at a business in the neighborhood, you’ll most likely stop by other independent retailers in the vicinity. On top of that, some small businesses tend to offer products that are made locally, creating a ripple effect in the local economy. You can use this handy store locator tool to find businesses in your neighborhood that will be participating in this year’s SBS.
5. Small businesses offer more unique products.
You can get away from the mass-produced items found at big box chains by shopping at an independent retailer. You’ll be able to find locally made gifts that are perfect for your significant other or enjoy a one-of-a-kind specialty drink at the local watering hole.
6. It helps keep communities diverse.
Sure, we all love and go to the mainstream retailers, but can you imagine what it would be like to live in a place with nothing but non-descript strip malls? By participating in Small Business Saturday, we’re making sure independent businesses thrive by adding to the vibrancy and uniqueness of a community. It would be tough for the charming trinkets shop or the mom and pop deli around the corner to stay afloat without your patronage.
So before you put on a shirt that reads “Consumerism is for suckers” and opt out of holiday shopping completely, consider participating in Small Business Saturday this year. It’s a great way to get to become better acquainted with your neighborhood and support the community.
Share some of your favorite places to shop local in the comments.
(Originally appeared on CO-OP)