Big retailers like Best Buy, Walmart and Target lure you into their stores on Black Friday with doorbuster deals. If that’s not enough, these same stores offer online deals on Cyber Monday and Free Shipping Day too. But where’s the love for the little guys — the small businesses that are a big part of our nation’s economy?
With the holiday season just around the corner, you might be rewarded for making room for one more shopping day — Small Business Saturday.
Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Here are some great reasons to shop on Small Business Saturday, to be held on Nov. 25 this year:
1. Support the local economy
By buying local, your money stays local. This means more jobs for residents and increased tax revenues for local governments. Even if buying local means spending a bit more, your community may receive a greater portion of your purchase.
2. Avoid crazy Black Friday shopping
Black Friday may have some of the best deals of the year, but the packed stores with insane lines are a turn-off for some. Many of the doorbuster deals advertised by stores are very limited in quantity, so you’ll line up early with potentially nothing to show for it.
By shopping on Small Business Saturday, you might not get the same amazing deals, but you won’t have to battle other customers to get what you want.
3. Better for the environment
Whether by boat or plane, there are significant environmental costs from shipping goods long distances.
While some small businesses obviously stock products from faraway places, you’re more likely to find locally made goods, which lowers transport cost and pollution.
4. More local jobs
According to the Small Business Administration, small businesses employ about half of all private-sector employees in the U.S. Shopping at local businesses helps these smaller shops keep their doors open and their workers employed.
5. Unique gifts
You’ll often find gifts in local shops you won’t find in larger stores — like handmade jewelry or artisan foods. These gifts can add a special touch that you can’t get from mass-produced products.
6. Local businesses are online too
You don’t have to limit your local shopping to in-store browsing. Finding nearby small businesses with the handmade goods you’re looking for is easy using a site like Etsy Local. You can search by location to find local artisans offering jewelry, art and clothing near your hometown.
If you still want to support small businesses but can’t find what you’re looking for locally, order on Etsy and have your purchase shipped.
You don’t have to limit your support of small businesses to just this one day, either. Think local year-round, and both you and your community will benefit even more.