Since its modest beginning in 2010, Small Business Saturday has grown each year in its efforts to help American consumers see the connection between their personal purchases and the economic well-being of their communities.
Small Business Saturday actually was observed last weekend but we believe that day should only serve as the kickoff for holiday shopping.
Most shoppers are skilled and experienced at seeking out the best price for an item but that alone is not the main reason for the campaign to support small businesses.
In addition to providing goods and services, locally-owned businesses stimulate the local economy in a myriad of ways.
These so-called “mom and pop” enterprises pay a wide range of local and state taxes and fees that support our schools and local governments.
Without them, the burden of paying those taxes would fall on the rest of us or and our services would be reduced.
Local businesses normally buy heavily from other local vendors and services. They buy goods for their enterprises and hire local accountants, repairmen and bookkeepers.
They also contribute to our communities through youth programs, charities, and volunteer efforts.
Perhaps most importantly, local businesses employ local residents, often our friends and neighbors and even family members.
Economists tell us that every dollar we spend with a local business turns over many times here in our community.
To be fair, national chain stores in our markets make the same contributions - paying taxes, spending locally and providing local jobs.
But almost none of those positives occur when we order online. Yes, we may save money but virtually none of it comes back to the local economy to support local jobs or community needs.
In our view, we should change the name to Small Business Day and observe it each shopping day of the year.
Without healthy local businesses, our neighborhoods and communities will wither and die and our quality of life will be diminished.