Weekly Feature

2017-11-29 / Editorials

Small-business shopping should stay on your list

While this year’s recognition of Small Business Saturday — held Nov. 25 — may be in the past, the event’s message should remain with us during the holiday season and throughout the year.

Small Business Saturday is an annual event to encourage patrons to purchase items at local stores and support the area’s economy.

The event was created eight years ago, and, according to www.ShopSmall.com, in 2015, 95 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday, a figure that was up 8.2 percent from 2014.

In addition, the site also reports that U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent $16.2 billion at local and independent businesses on the day. If you purchase a work of art from a local gallery, a nostalgic item at an antique store or a handcrafted ornament from an area novelty shop, you won’t need to fear that the recipient already has a duplicate of your gift. Buying something homemade can offer a loved one a more meaningful gift.

We often promote local small businesses because they’re such a key part of the area economy. They’re owned by people in the community who depend on their success and who are often active in other initiatives that enhance the lives of their fellow residents.

Small Business Saturday shouldn’t be the only day shoppers remember to shop local. One thing that could make a shopper hesitant to leave the national retail stores is a lack of knowledge about what sort of items and services these smaller businesses offer. Fortunately, there is an easy way to remedy that. Many of the local small businesses are located in walk-able portions of the community, such as in Clarence Center, that can be visited during an enjoyable stroll through streets lit with holiday lights or decked with wreaths.

We understand that there are some things on people’s holiday wish lists that are easier to find at national retail chains or maybe aren’t available elsewhere. That’s fine. Those businesses benefit the economy as well and provide jobs to many people. Sometimes, though, it’s time to step away from the mass-produced items. At a small business, you may just find that perfect present and maybe a new favorite store.

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