Small Business Saturday. If you’re not yet familiar, it's definitely a day to take note of. This annual occurrence is about much more though. At its core, it's the promotion of a "locally minded" way of being and of doing.
It feels very much like a growing movement, yet I believe it to be more of a re-emergence than anything else. People seem to be returning to something that seemed all but lost for some period of time.
On an ever expanding and increasing scale, we are witnessing a renewal with regard to collective interest in our Main Streets and our truly locally owned and independent small businesses. Where ever one looks, no matter how close to home or how far – there seems to be a shared awareness and value placed upon that local mindset.
In fact, in my time at this Chamber I feel I have been witness to this re-emergence. I have even noticed a change in phone inquiries – people are seeking information about bed and breakfasts or where they can find locally raised meats and produce. Travel plans seem to be trending toward natural recreational opportunities, the arts, and historically rich "places."
Informational networks and sites with "all things local" as their central theme are popping up all over. Get Local Flavor, Independent We Stand, Shop Small, Small Biz Survival, Sustainable Connections and countless, countless others. My grandma once mentioned to me how all things cycle, and it seems to me that by and large, we are returning to something that just seems to make a little more sense, that we resonate with.
Possibly we are filling some sort of space within that chains and big box stores simply can't fill or sustain. Whatever the reason, I personally, am overjoyed. So what does local spending mean for the local business owner, economy and consumer? This Chamber of Commerce has found and experienced a tremendous sense of purpose in helping folks to understand just how beneficial (even fun) keeping it local can be.
I decided to have some fun with it myself a few years back, and I haven't stopped since. I had come to the conclusion that if I was going to talk the talk about shopping local – I wanted to walk the walk. That's when I decided to conduct sort of a self experiment and wrote about my Holiday shopping experiences in this column.
What I didn't expect at all was the amazing amount of public response that it generated. People would come up to me and say, "I didn't know you could find this or that here or there," or "You make shopping at home sound fun and meaningful...I want to do more of it," or "There is no comparison to the personalized service we get at home."
Page 2 of 2 - All of these comments meant something to me, and it's as though a chord was struck. Believe it or not, folks actually re-quested the following year that the Holiday Shopping columns resume. For me it was rewarding on a personal level, but I loved spreading the word about the interesting little finds and services found along the way.
But what was most heartening for me was the service – the personal attention, the detail, the knowledge of product, the backing of product. Where else but a locally owned shop can one find this? And how about this...my holiday shopping season then and ever since has been relaxing, inspiring, and yes, fun. How many these days can say the same of their Holiday shopping experience?
You can give it a go on Shop Small / Small Business Saturday this November 30th! For more information about Small Business Saturday, please visit and like the Small Business Saturday Facebook Page at https:// www.facebook.com/ Small Business Saturday or the website at https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/.
"Some people put everything into their work, their name on the door, and their heart into their community. Small Business Saturday is a day to show our support. A day to shop at stores owned by our friends and neighbors. And do our part for the businesses that do so much for us."