November 11, 2014 4:00 AM
“Since 2010, consumers with conscience, flair and an eye for great deals have swarmed their local Mom and Pop shops on the Saturday after Thanksgiving in support of Small Business Saturdays. More a burgeoning movement than a one-day event, Small Business Saturday will take place nationwide this year on November 29. The concept, originally launched by American Express and recognized by the U.S. Senate, has helped change the landscape of big-city neighborhoods and small town U.S.A. If you’re not participating yet, this is why you should.
Help Support A Dream
The desire to own and operate one’s own business is the cornerstone of the American dream. Small store ownership helps individuals carve out a living doing what they love. It also allows them to create and sell merchandise that the average consumer would be hard pressed to find in a chain or big box store. If it can be dreamed of, it is probably being sold in a Mom and Pop shop. Vintage fabrics, niche ceramics, collectable comic books and gourmet treats are typical examples, but localbusinesses can range from the boutique to the practical and encompass everything from nuts and bolts hardware, to organic puppy chow.
Local Shops Equal Local Hires
Many families have found themselves grateful for the jobs and paychecks provided by local shop owners. Parents looking for part-time work close to home, those in need of second jobs, teens hoping to acquire hands-on retail experience and full-time employment opportunities from in-store sales to stocking shelves, all help to support the over-all, financial health of our nation’s infrastructure, keeping both our neighbors and neighborhoods solvent.
Up The Ante On Your Property Value
Small stores and businesses help revitalize tired city blocks and main streets by generating foot traffic and adding to visual aesthetics. A thriving locale tends to have a spiraling effect, able to increase property value for home owners. These entrepreneurial endeavors also support local school systems in a variety of ways. Sporting goods stores often sponsor school-based sports teams and scout troops, and book stores donate text books to classrooms and sponsor read-a-thons. Local businesses operate as community stake-holders, by contributing to local charities and places of worship and supplying elbow grease for neighborhood walk-a-thons, food and clothing drives and other, locally-driven events.
As the holiday season approaches, money will be spent on everything from gift items to home furnishings and food. The money you spend in small Mom and Pop shops help keep your tax dollars confined to the local area, which translates into improvements everyone benefits from. These can range from paving sidewalks to safer playground equipment and better security. The money you spend in local small businesses is a powerful tool, able to help keep entire communities thriving, vital and safe.
Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.”