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Since 2010, Small Business Saturday has been a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which traditionally showcases big box retail and e-commerce stores. In contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages shopping small and local shops and artisans. Today is a day to get away from your computer and into your community – visit independent stores, craft shows, dine at local restaurants, and spend your money in your neighborhood.
If you're on social media, now is a time to do a selfless selfie. Share a photo where you are shopping, dining, or otherwise patronizing a local small business and use the hashtag #ShopSmall and help promote the business and the idea to shop local.
I've seen people pooh-pooh Small Business Saturday, believing it's only a marketing ploy by American Express, who started the movement. The thing is, you can shop with whatever form of payment you desire, and the one who wins is your community. There's far too many sad stories of thriving neighborhoods that become ghost towns because big box retailers came in and squeezed out the independent businesses. I'm all about getting great deals, but I don't believe in sacrificing my community and future to do so. Today is a day to walk into that shop you have never visited, get a cup of java from the place that doesn't have red cups, dine at that little hole in the wall you've heard has the best pizza, and get the replacement tree stand from the local hardware store instead of the big chain store. Get out into your community, and help make an impact in the place you call home. There's going to be plenty of time for online sale shopping Monday!