Tribune-Courier features editor
Over the last few days many of us visited with family, stuffed ourselves with turkey and went on somewhat-insane shopping binges. People flooded stores as they opened late Thanksgiving night and early Friday morning for the special savings.
Some department stores carried their sales into Saturday but for local business owners an even bigger event was occurring, the third annual Small Business Saturday. Small business Saturday is held to honor and encourage people to shop at local businesses throughout their community.
Karen G. Mills, Administrator of the Small Business Administration (SBA), released the following statement encouraging people to support their communities by “shopping small” this holiday season. “Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the fabric of our communities. Over the last two decades, small and new businesses have been responsible for creating two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., and today over half of all working Americans own or work for a small business.
Jessica Scillian, Benton’s Main Street manager stated, “In 2010 alone, KY Main Street Program reported more than $465 million dollars invested in Kentucky communities, representing 720 new jobs in Main Street districts, 367 new businesses, 391 downtown buildings rehabilitated, $394,219,405 in public investment, $72,630,458 in private investment, and 250,312 volunteer hours committed by board members and community supporters.”
The dollars spent in locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping small, you simultaneously create jobs and fund more city services through sales tax. Locally owned businesses also contribute more to local causes. They build powerful neighborhoods by sustaining communities and linking neighbors together.
The city of Benton is urging residents to shop local throughout the season. Small businesses offer more unique and personal items. By shopping at small businesses this holiday season, you’re not only putting presents under the entire community’s as well.