With the increased emphasis on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s easy to forget that today is Small Business Saturday which is a chance for you to show support for small businesses and by extension the local economy.
As a boutique owner, I keenly understand the challenges faced by many entrepreneurs in today’s economy, and I want to share with you some of the reasons I choose to shop small:
- Strengthen Local Economy: When you purchase from a small business, your dollars feed into the local economy instead of into a corporation’s pocket. For example, I not only purchase all of my office supplies as well as furniture and fixtures from nearby shops, but I also use local small businesses for services like printing brochures or cleaning the shop’s windows. The money you spend does not end with the store but instead spreads outward to keep other small businesses operational.
- Superior Customer Service: Small business owners often go above and beyond the ordinary to ensure customers leave happy, including offering lay-a-way for the holidays, opening early, closing late, or even tracking down that special item the customer yearns to find. Furthermore, store owners encourage positivity and friendliness in employees while exercising greater control over the service the business provides.
- Feedback Matters: With many small businesses, you have the opportunity to meet the owner and make suggestions. Corporations often direct you to a nameless, faceless email server where a human being may never read the feedback you provided much less form a plan to implement suggestions or resolve problems. However, with a small business, you can discuss positive or negative experiences directly with someone who cares what you have to say and will work to incorporate your ideas.
- Support Creativity: Many small businesses arise because they provide innovative solutions to modern problems or because they help customers marginalized or forgotten by larger retailers. If you support these business, you support their ideas and solutions too which ensures they can help you in the future. Keeping a small business alive enables them to listen to feedback to improve upon and expand the products or services they offer.
However, the main reason I shop small is to support the entrepreneurial spirit that once made American great. Every small business is someone’s dream they are trying to turn into reality. Since I am receiving support for my own dreams, I want to pay it forward by keeping my favorite stores alive and encouraging others to take their first step down the entrepreneurial path.