We are all familiar with Black Friday, the busiest and most chaotic day of shopping all year. Black Friday is really the only time that can make standing in long lines out in the cold in the middle of the night and wading through sometimes belligerent and even dangerous crowds sound like a good time.
I have shopped on Black Friday exactly once in my life, and after that experience, I vowed to never do it again. Don’t get me wrong, I love saving money. I am all about saving money, especially when you take into account that our household income is made up of two independent professionals working in some area of the arts–my fiance, a professional musician, and myself, a writer and blogger. Looking for ways to save money is necessary for survival most months. But I can’t get down with Black Friday, mostly because of the crowds. As someone living with anxiety, the thought of spending a very early morning waiting in lines of people who then proceed to push and shove in order to get into a store before others who have also been patiently waiting in line is enough to make me consider that maybe that isn’t the best route to save money; at least for me.
Of course, you can still shop on Black Friday; especially if you have fun family shopping traditions. Those are always fun. However, regardless of whether or not you are planning to do some Black Friday shopping this year, there is another shopping day that I really hope you consider participating in, and that is Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday is November 24th, between Black Friday and the online shopping holiday of the year, Cyber Monday. It was created by American Express in 2010 in order to get people excited about supporting the small, independently-owned businesses operating in their communities.
I feel very strongly about supporting the small businesses that are owned and operated by people who live within my small town. When I have the choice to buy something from a corporation or to buy that same thing or something similar from an independently-owned business, I choose the latter every time. I would much rather give my money to an individual and know that my money is going directly towards their monthly bills or putting food on the table for their families than to give it to a corporation that uses my money to open more chains and force the small business owners in close-knit communities to close their doors because they can’t compete with a superstore that sells everything from groceries to furniture and the low prices of a huge corporate chain.
It’s really no wonder why I support small, independently-owned businesses. While I have always been one to believe that saving money is great but corporate greed is bad, I am also a small business myself, as is my fiance. The people and companies who advertise on Woman Tribune contribute directly to my well-being and to the well-being of my family. If the advertisers who do business with me were to stop, I wouldn’t be able to keep the lights and heat on in my house or put food on the table. I directly benefit from companies choosing to work with me and my small business rather than hiring a huge PR firm to get the word out about their business, website, or new product. The way I see it, it is the least that I can do to shop the small businesses operating within my community when I can because they look to their neighbors to keep them afloat, rather than having to abandon their business and let multi-billion dollar corporations come in and take over.
Want to help the small businesses in your community? Mark your calendars for Small Business Saturday on November 24th and find a list of places to shop small that are local to you. You can also show your support and share your small business stories on Twitter using hashtag #SmallBizSat.
Do you support the small businesses in your community? What are some of your favorite small businesses to shop?
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour for Mom Central Consulting on behalf of American Express. I received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.