Thursday, November 14, 2013

Shop Small:
Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30)

Christmas shopping seems to begin earlier and earlier every year. At least if you are smart it does. There is nothing worse than fighting the last minute holiday shopping crowd. Believe me, I know! But, the weekend after Thanksgiving usually begins the holiday shopping craze, and it starts with consumers camping out overnight to catch the Black Friday deals. With the insanity that has become Black Friday, and all the exceptional deals that only the large corporations can offer, American Express decided to take things one step further over the Thanksgiving weekend by creating Small Business Saturday and "Shop Small."

Shop Small is a movement to celebrate small businesses every day and to help communities thrive. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. The movement began in 2010 and has helped to raise over $5.5 billion in consumer spending.

By now, most of us have heard of Small Business Saturday. But, what exactly does it do for us? Any American Express cardholder can use their card at a qualifying small business location that appears on the Small Business Saturday Map. Once the cardholder makes a purchase of $10 or more at ANY qualifying store, they will receive a $10 statement credit within 90 days. It's that simple. If you have to shop, why not shop local? After all, for every $1 spent locally & independently, almost 70 cents of that dollar stays in the community versus 40 cents when shopping with the large corporations or chains. The rest of the top 10 list...

  1. Shopping local creates jobs. Shops in our town create local employment and self-employment. These people in turn spend in the local economy.
  2. Local independent shops invest more in our communities. Local businesses are proportionally more generous in their support of local charities, schools, and community events. So supporting local shops means a financial contribution to your community.
  3. Local shops sell great products at affordable prices. Some people get out of the habit of shopping locally and are then surprised by the range of products available.
  4. Shopping locally saves you time and money. You travel less, saving on time and fuel.
  5. Shopping locally retains our communities. People don’t like losing shops and services in small towns but don’t equate this with how they spend their money.
  6. Shopping locally retains our distinctiveness. Independent shops create distinctive shopping experiences and stock different products. Local businesses respond more quickly to the needs of local customers, stocking products to meet changing population needs.
  7. Shopping locally saves the environment. Local shops often stock a high percentage of locally sourced goods that do not require long-distance transportation, helping to reduce our global footprint.
  8. Local shops are for everyone. Most people can get to their local shops easily. This is especially important for the elderly, young people and others who rely on public transportation.
  9. Local shops value you more. Evidence from numerous surveys show people receive better customer care and service locally. These businesses survive by their reputation and repeat business, which means you get a higher standard of service.
  10. Shopping local saves services. Private and public sector services cluster around shops. As shops disappear so do hairdressers, banks, restaurants and other businesses.

To view the Small Business Saturday Map and eligible business, click here.

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