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Chester County Press

The big impact of Small Business Saturday

11/22/2016 11:57AM ● By Steven Hoffman

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday—a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the U.S.

While Black Friday will get most of the attention for the crazy sales on TVs and game consoles and tablets, as well as the large crowds that flock to big box stores and malls to fight over the limited quantities of the aforementioned items, it should actually be the next day, Small Business Saturday, that shakes us from our post-Thanksgiving lethargy.

In southern Chester County, we’re fortunate to have a deep roster of boutiques, shops, and restaurants that are locally owned— stores like Ashley Austin Boutique and Lola’s, Soap Bucket Skincare and Candles and State & Union, Mrs. Robinson’s Tea Shop and The Candy Case, The Sawmill Grill and Flickerwood Wine Cellars, Oxford Feed and Lumber and The Mushroom Cap. Local residents can shop for unique jewelry at Bove Jewelers or Millstone Jewelers. They can enjoy a cup of coffee at comforting, friendly places like Wholly Grounds or Philter.

Shopping in these businesses is an investment in your own local economy—a local economy that we're all connected to. Mary Hutchins, the executive director of Historic Kennett Square, said recently that the figure that is used nationally is this: For every $100 spent at a local small business, $68 of that stays in the local community. How significant is that? According to the American Independent Business Alliance, every dollar spent at local businesses returns three times more money to the local economy than a dollar being spent at a national chain store.

National chain stores have their place. So do malls and online retailers. But we can't forget the local businesses and the men and women who make them their life's work.

The owners of the small businesses impact the community positively in a wide variety of ways, ranging from providing local jobs to sponsoring Little League teams to participating in community activities.

Shopping local means more personalized service. It means shopping greener because small retailers often rely on locally produced products instead of products that are shipped all over the country. Shopping local means more jobs in the area and a better local economy.

Small Business Saturday was established in 2010 as a way to make sure that small businesses had their day in the middle of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and each year since then more and more Americans have made a point to shop local on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. We encourage everyone to do the same this year. Small businesses are the lifeblood of small towns in the U.S. Small business owners support their communities in countless ways throughout the year, and they rely on their communities to support them right back. Many small businesses rely on the holiday shopping season to drive revenue for the entire year. The small businesses in towns like Oxford and Kennett Square are woven tightly into the fabric of the community and deserve support—not just on Small Business Saturday, but particularly on Small Business Saturday.

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