Small Business Saturday!!
Small Business Saturday!! There are a number of ways individuals can help their communities. They can volunteer their time for a community cause. When they walk down the sidewalk they can pick up a stray piece of trash and dispose of it away properly. You can deliver meals to the sickly and home-bound. However, there is something else you can do which you may not realize helps your community.
In a few words:
Shop Local! Shop Small!
While the nation was still coming out of a recession in 2010, the credit card company American Express created an American shopping holiday as a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small Business Saturday — the Saturday following Thanksgiving — encourages people to shop at the local small businesses, versus shopping at the mega-big box stores or online.
How, you may ask, can shop at your local small business instead of going out of town or buying online help your community? Glad you asked.
First, a strong small business base is the anchor of any thriving community. In Michigan, small brick-and-mortar businesses pay higher tax rates for local schools. Local small business owners are also the people who support student fundraising, athletic and academic endeavors. They sponsor little league teams, buy ads in high school sporting programs and yearbooks. They donate time and money back to their communities to make their communities better places to live and do business.
Many times, these same small businesses are the places where young adults go to get their first jobs and to learn their work ethics.
The Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) reports in 2020, there were approximately 122,000 retail establishments in the state. Michigan’s retail industry directly employed 758,000 workers. Those workers earned nearly $23 billion.
To help local small businesses, the MRA created a program similar to Small Business Saturday. Their program is called Buy Nearby and it’s always the first weekend in October. This year’s theme was Clicks to Bricks: Taking Stock in Retail’s Economic Impact in Michigan.
According to the MRA online buying in 2020 increased by nearly 3 percent. Because of this and the pandemic, direct retail employment decreased by 14 percent from 2017. Many local small businesses have closed their doors for good.
The MRA says, if Michiganians redirected 10 percent of their estimated $23.7 billion in out-of-state e-commerce to local small businesses, Michigan would gain $1.9 billion in increased economic activity.
Further, they estimate that a 10 percent change in shopping mentality would create 14,000 new jobs.
Supporting local small businesses has a snowball effect economically on a community. Consider this, aside from employing locals, sponsoring ball teams, and paying local school taxes, small businesses also hire cleaning companies, attorneys, accountants, security staff, and more. This allows these other small businesses to do the same thing.
This year’s Small Business Saturday is November 27, please consider shopping local that day and every day. Support the businesses that support your community and your kids.