"Speak Out" is an expression of opinion from the Editorial Board of WBTV, and is presented by General Manager, Nick Simonette.
What's one of the biggest things you can do for your community this holiday season?
Well, it's simple…shop small.
Today is the third annual "Small Business Saturday."
Sandwiched between "Black Friday" and "Cyber Monday," it's a way to focus attention on the more than 28 million locally owned and operated small businesses across our nation.
According to a survey, over one hundred million people nationwide came together to support the effort last year.
Local businesses account for over half of all private sector jobs.
When we shop small, the benefits are huge!
Over the past two decades, small businesses have created 65% of net new jobs.
For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through payroll taxes and other expenditures.
But what's in it for you?
Well small businesses can give you more personalized service.
Employees can get to know you and help you with your treasure hunting.
You'll often find hand-crafted, one-of-a-kind gifts at these Mom & Pop retailers.
And wouldn't you really rather avoid the massive crowds you'll likely find elsewhere?
So, today, and throughout the holidays, we encourage you to keep some of your shopping dollars right in your own community.
It can make a world of difference.
Tell us what YOU think. SpeakOut@wbtv.com.