Every year it is the same story, mobs at the mall, frenzy at the large box stores, piles of foreign-made products fly off of corporate shelves; Black Friday is here again. Then there is Cyber-Monday, which is online shopping’s peak moment. While both are great for retail, their heavy reliance on foreign produced goods does not improve the domestic production index and the big box stores lack the direct employee support due to suppressed wages meaning that the money going in to the stores leaves the area.
In response to this consolidation of cash to a few wealthy people, in 2010 American Express began a campaign to promote small businesses, calling the program “Shop Small” or “Small Business Saturday.” Some may be confused as to why American Express would encourage such a holiday, but it is good business sense for the company. American Express makes money from people purchasing, individual people shopping. They cannot shop unless they have money in their pockets. Small businesses encourage local spending, instead of consolidating wealth in the hands of a few where it stagnates.
This promotion just got a huge push from President Obama who had these words to say in a statement released Friday:
From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our nation’s promise. Through events such as Small Business Saturday, we keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century.”
As a result, now the unofficial shopping holiday now is getting official White House support, with pages for it now available on the Small Business Association website. While it may seem small, just another shopping day, it is a day which can make a real difference to the national economy.
So, if out shopping today, hit up your local mom and pop small businesses. They will appreciate your business far more than the big box stores, and you will find yourself supporting the local economy as well. Think big, shop small.