Editorial: A new reason to shop
Black Friday has long been the favorite day of the year for retailers. This day after Thanksgiving is when ledgers traditionally switch from red to black ink as many stores’ negative balances turn to positives. Even before shoppers started waiting outside stores for hours in the dark just for a chance at one or two TVs or video games at ridiculously low prices, shop owners have counted on sales from this day to make their entire year.
Much more recently, the phrase Cyber Monday has entered the retail lexicon. This is the Monday following Thanksgiving weekend, when office workers who probably should be busy at their jobs are instead surfing the internet, ordering Christmas gifts from online vendors. In just a few short years, this shopping "holiday" has skyrocketed, with an estimated $887 million spent on this day last year by online shoppers in the U.S. for non-travel, retail items.
It’s time for shoppers to mark another day on their calendars—Small Business Saturday. On Saturday, Nov. 27, shoppers are encouraged to save the long drive to the crowded shopping mall, skip the impersonal online shopping experience, and check out the gift shops, crafts stores, art galleries, restaurants and other independent merchants in their own hometown.
Unlike Black Friday and Cyber Monday, most of the proceeds from Small Business Saturday sales remain right in the community. The money goes to pay the shopkeeper and his or her employees—your friends and neighbors. They’re the ones who sponsor the Little League team, who give discounts to local charities, who are always the first ones asked to make a donation. And the taxes they pay are fed right back into the community to pay for schools, police and other needed services.
They may not be able to compete with the prices of big box retailers or chain restaurants, but they more than make up for it in terms of service. And if you stop to take a look, you may just be surprised by the selection and deals they offer.
So do yourself, and the community, a favor and take part in Small Business Saturday.