November 29, 2013

OUR VIEW: Small Business Saturday is a big deal


---- — Major retailers able to make massive purchases of electronic gadgets and then sell them for next to nothing are the ones who dominate Black Friday. Come Cyber Monday, the online giants attract the most computer mice with their killer deals.

And so it had gone for years — the kickoff to the holiday shopping season was a game for only the big dogs to play. Then someone had a simple idea.

Why not have a day devoted to small businesses and nestle it between the two major shopping days?

That idea turned into Small Business Saturday, a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Now in its fourth year, the event has grown into a movement that millions of individuals, businesses and communities have embraced nationwide.

The day is celebrated every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. This year, it will be Nov. 30.

The day is aimed at raising awareness for the many small businesses that often get overlooked in the frenzy that is Christmas shopping.

This is a critical time of year for the folks who make their living in the retail industry. How their stores do in the next few weeks could well make or break the whole year.

Experts are again predicting shoppers this year will be looking even harder for bargains, trying to stretch their available dollars as far as they can.

One way to make sure your dollars have the biggest impact is to keep them right here in your community.

We encourage you to shop local on Small Business Saturday, but also to remember those shop owners after the hustle and bustle of the holiday has subsided.

It’s critical that local people support the merchants who help this community thrive throughout the year. Shop in the businesses that pay dues to the local chamber of commerce and local civic organizations and buy sponsorships for local athletic teams and tickets to the chicken noodle dinner at church.

It’s tempting, we know, to pack up the family and drive to Kokomo or Lafayette, Indianapolis or South Bend, and these days, it’s also tempting to just stay in your living room and fire up your computer, shopping for bargains on the Internet.

It’s important to remember, though, that those Internet retailers won’t be paying taxes in Logansport. That store in Fort Wayne won’t be providing a job to your neighbor down the street.

Local businesses do that. They pay the taxes that keep the lights on in our schools and pave our streets. And they write the paychecks that buy groceries and make house payments in households throughout the county.

They can continue to do these things only if they have customers putting money into their cash registers.

THE ISSUE Small Business Saturday looks for ground in shopping weekend OUR VIEW Spending your dollars locally just plain makes sense.