November 24, 2011 by wcobserver
Perhaps that’s why we are such advocates of doing as much business with local merchants as possible. And at this time of year, when holiday shopping begins in earnest, we want to remind readers why we encourage them to think before they run to the big box chain stores.
There are more than the ideological reasons — countering globalism, supporting American workers, encouraging self-sufficiency– for buying locally. A community with thriving local small businesses contributes to a town’s individually in a way chain stores can’t. Individuality and diversity are attractive considerations for both tourists and potential new residents.
There are also issues of quality and value to consider as well as personalized service. Handmade usually means well-made and, trust us, that small business owner has a neighborly interest in you that is hard to find in that made-in-China-chain store.
The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, marks the beginning of the shopping season. It’s the day when big retailers lure shoppers in with deals and bargains advertised on TV and in the big daily paper (community weekly papers don’t get much of that ad revenue). The other big business shopping push is Cyber Monday created to encourage online shopping.
Nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is the two- year-old shopping holiday created by American Express called “Small Business Saturday,” which encourages shoppers to patronize the little shops and small local business operated by their friends and neighbors.
Of course, these small brick and mortar stores won’t have some of the items on your gift list. But we suggest you start there. Drop in on a local merchant; brouse, visit, and connect. Have an experience, not just a transaction.