Tomorrow is Small Business Saturday! In 2010, American Express Launched Small Business Saturday, a day to encourage people across the country to support, small local businesses. In 2011, The Day became official and businesses have been teaming up with American Express to spread the #shopsmall movement. But with all the deals online and in Big Box stores you might be wondering why you should take time out of your day tomorrow and head to your local small businesses. I could list a hundred but here are five reasons you should Shop Small tomorrow (and every other day of the year).
1. You are more than just a customer. You are extended family. Every single person who walks through a small business matters. You don't have to receive a fake welcome greeting you might receive elsewhere (or get no greeting at all). The conversations are genuine and the relationships are real. I have had customers who I have come to me for the last five years for birthday outfits, or when they need something for a special occasion or family milestone I am one of the first to know. I am watching their children grow up and they are watching mine. They are more than just a transaction.
2. Your purchases are more than just dollar signs. Yes you might pop into a small business just to browse and end up purchasing a small something. You might not think anything of it every again. But it was more than just a purchase. Before that item made it into a small business their was thought (and if it was handmade like some of our items a lot of love and time) put into that item ending up in the shop. When you purchase something it's validation that small business is doing something right. We take it personal and we are so grateful for each and every transaction.
3. You money literally helps a family (or multiple families) survive. You've seen the stats and signs on shopping small. You might walk right by them and think it's just a gimmick to get you into that small business. But the money you spend at a small business literally goes right back into the community (after expenses like rent, insurance, payroll and all that fun stuff gets paid).
4. Small businesses have character. You can find one of a kind or unique items when you pop in to your local businesses. Displays are set up, stores are filled with special finds. I LOVE when I travel because I always make sure we head to the Downtown area because that's where the charm is. Every shop has a story and every detail has been a process. Your feedback and opinions can help shape that store too. You can mention you wish they carried this or you think they should have that and it will actually be listened to and you might come back the next time and see your suggestions and know you made a difference.
5. Shopping small helps keep Brick and Mortar businesses from going extinct. I've seen too many small businesses come and go. Every shopping center or Downtown area you visit you can see vacant buildings. Shopping and doing business online may be more convenient but the people who put their businesses out there and open up shop are taking a chance (and drastically increasing their expense). Skip the large crowds in Malls and Big Box stores and pop into your local retail stores, boutiques, restaurants, and other stores that take a chance in having a store front in these changing times.
Sales are tempting and shopping online while sitting in the comfort of your own home can be way too easy but this Holiday season head to your local Downtown area, or other small businesses, and give them a chance too. You might be surprised and find even better items and deals than you thought you were getting elsewhere.