Sunday, March 12, 2017

Does Small Business Saturday Really Matter?

On Saturday, November 28th, communities across the nation will be celebrating Small Business Saturday. Falling immediately after Black Friday, and just two days before Cyber Monday, this annual observance has become an integral part of the holiday season’s retail surge.

But is it really important? Or is it just another silly marketing gimmick?

Local businesses are in danger

These days, it’s so simple and fast to jump on Amazon or another ecommerce website and find everything we need for a great price, and even have it shipped right to our door.

And there’s likely a Wal-Mart or a Target within easy driving distance of your community, so one-stop-shopping at discount prices is an admittedly tough draw to ignore.

But where does that leave our small, independent retail stores and restaurants that have lined Main Street, USA for the last two centuries? It’s no exaggeration to say it leaves these Mom and Pop businesses struggling for survival.

Now, to be clear, there’s nothing wrong with shopping at large box stores or eating at national chain restaurants. These businesses offer value, consistent quality, and selection that are difficult to beat. And, they create a large number of jobs for the community and contribute a significant amount of tax revenue which is good for the local economy.

Theoretically, the competition these larger stores create should have a positive impact on local retailers, but the reality is the tremendous price differences and much larger marketing budgets of these stores tend to have the opposite effect on smaller business owners who can’t afford to compete.

Why are these small businesses important?

For two very simple reasons, small independent local stores and restaurants provide a necessary counterbalance to the large franchise locations and national chains that have spread across the country in the last 50 years:

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