Last updated: September 06. 2013 8:05PM - 64 Views

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In case you haven’t seen the public service announcements for Small Business Saturday, let me fill you in. Nov. 26, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is designated as Small Business Saturday and is a day dedicated to creating awareness and promoting small, independent retailers. These are the little guys, the lifeblood of our communities — the ones who don’t spend oodles of dollars on advertisements encouraging you to empty your wallets for Black Friday door busters.

I love this idea of shopping small. Seriously, where would we be without our small business owners, especially those shops and restaurants that line our downtown streets and give our community its unique flair? Isn’t this what makes America great? You can own your own business and follow your dreams and pursue your passion? But if everyone shops only at the big box retail stores, where does that leave our downtowns? I’ll tell you…ghost towns.

Delaware, Powell and Sunbury here in Delaware County are very fortunate to have Main Street businesses like we do…still pretty active and thriving. This is not so of many downtown areas around Ohio. They have struggled and many are just a mere glimmer of their former glory. That’s a shame, really. Let’s not let that happen in our county.

This movement was started by American Express OPEN, its small business unit, and dozens of advocacy, public and private organizations. To see the long list, visit their website at smallbusinesssaturday.com.

So, this Saturday, take some time and devote an afternoon of shopping in your downtown areas and visit your local merchants. You’ll be glad you did. You can avoid the crowds, the over-priced merchandise, the clogged parking lots and, most of all; you can feel good about supporting your community. When you shop local, your dollars stay here. According to the Small Business Administration, for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 returns to the community. That’s great!

While researching this article, I found this quote on the Small Business Saturday website: “When we all shop small, it will be huge.” Visit the website or “Like” it on Facebook and pledge to shop small this Saturday. “Share the love” this holiday season and visit your local merchants. One purchase is all it takes.

Tuesday Trippier lives in Delaware, is a writer and mother of four with a special interest in green living and shopping local.

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