Small Business Saturday, supporting local businesses

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Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is quickly approaching. Part of me inside went into a panic with the realization that once again, the holiday season has snuck up on me and many things are left to accomplish. Once again, my grand ideas of being ready for the holidays well before they hit just did not happen. That being said, there is much to do and I am sure that I am not alone, and there are many finding themselves in the same situation.

Thanksgiving is here and Christmas is quickly approaching. Part of me inside went into a panic with the realization that once again, the holiday season has snuck up on me and many things are left to accomplish. Once again, my grand ideas of being ready for the holidays well before they hit just did not happen. That being said, there is much to do and I am sure that I am not alone, and there are many finding themselves in the same situation.

Although large chains usually have the ability for lower prices, in the end it is more money efficient to buy your gifts and goods at local neighborhood businesses. It stimulates the local economy faster and research proves that it increases the circulation of money within a community. This means more jobs within the community and since it is proven facts that local businesses make less profit than larger corporations do, they are the ones that will spend profit locally on infrastructure. This boils down to money staying within the community and in a time of a recovering economy, this is the fastest way to upturn.

Studies by Sustainable Connections show that buying locally generates a stronger impact in the community, with a larger tax base and more of your money spent is used to strengthen the local economy. Non-profit organizations receive 250 percent more support from small businesses than large corporations. Buying gifts from local businesses also gives a person the opportunity to find that one-of-a-kind gift that will be remembered and cherished more than larger consumer items. Local businesses shop locally requiring less infrastructure, contributing to less sprawl, congestion, habitat and pollution. All of these things make a large impact on local environment.

Small businesses are the largest source of employment nationally. In most cases, local businesses care much more about their customers and have a better understanding of the products they sell and spend more time getting to know its customers.

Usually owned by people that live in the community, owners are more invested in the business and involved in ensuring not only their success, but also the success of the local community. Small business require less infrastructure investment and make more use of local public services that puts your tax dollars to better use. In the long-term, a marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation, low prices and a broader range of product choices. Entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more than likely to invest and settle within the community in which they work.

All of these are great reasons to support your local businesses and what better time to start than now, when we are gearing up for the holidays. East County is home to many small businesses that depend on us for survival, but more than that offer products that are unique, many hand crafted and in my experience much more appreciated by those that receive them.

So while you shop for the holiday season remember that locally owned businesses return more than 60 percent of its revenue to the local economy compared to national chain retailers which pump only around 13 percent. That means that $0.44 to $0.71 of every dollar in revenues helps our local economy grow. Not only are you giving a gift to a loved one or friend by shopping locally, you are giving the gift of a thriving economy in your own neighborhood.

So as you shop this holiday season, think small business. We have a lot of events coming up in East County that will give you the chance to support your local small businesses further than the one designated day of the year. And bring a friend that might not live in your community and show them what wonderful products and services your local small businesses provide.

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