Started in 2010 by the internationally known business American Express, Small Business Saturday has caught on in almost every small town in America. An equivalent to the traditions of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday encourages individuals to support their local town by spending their holiday money in their local area. The new tradition has been picked up by small entrepreneurs and business owners across the nation and has become a call to action every Saturday after Thanksgiving since its inception.
According to a study performed by the economic development consultancy Civic Economics, for every $100 spent in a locally owned business $68 stays in the local economy compared to just $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business. Across the board, locally owned businesses keep their money in the local economy by purchasing local goods including marketing, accounting services, supplies, community donations, wages and of course local taxes.
The personalized attention to detail and individualized service can also be a welcomed relief from the big box store holiday experience. Owners of Milford’s Allison’s Hallmark Store,Dana Saxton and mother Kathy Reisigner, have served the local community for 16 years and continue to see success despite several of their products being featured in larger, nationally owned stores. The attention to detail and a focus on firsthand service has allowed Allison’s Hallmark Shop to remain successful despite the competition.
“People get a special feeling when they come into the Hallmark store,” commented Ms. Saxon. “We will take the time to help each individual find the right card so they can convey the exact message they want. Our customers make us feel so appreciated and we are so happy to be here. We are so thankful for the support from our community over the years.”
Another intangible factor that many studies fail to realize is the personal investment and interest many local businesses have in seeing their local community grow and prosper. The desire to see a flourishing active town becomes not just a sense of pride but a urgency of livelihood.
“Each small business does so much more for the community than just providing their own products,” commented owner of Dolce Bakery Chuck Stanko. “All of us support our own community and really make a point to create a better overall experience for those visiting our town.”
In addition to their downtown business, owners of Dolce Coffee Shop Chuck Stanko and George Carroll also support their community by supporting several organizations such as the Boys and Girls Club for Greater Milford. Chuck is also an organizer of the Downtown Milford Merchant’s Association which brings together downtown businesses to share ideas and opportunities in support of each other.
When deciding how to spend those precious holiday dollars shoppers should not only remember that when products are purchased from locally owned stores more money stays in the local economy. They should also take into account the personalized service and the owner’s personal investment in a successful local community. Small Business Saturday will take place this Saturday, November 24 with almost every locally owned business offering some sort of holiday specials to encourage local support. Be sure to support local businesses by looking for them on Facebook, viewing their websites and giving them a call in preparation for Saturday.