'Small Business Saturday' Is Way Cooler Than Black Friday (VIDEO)

kid in a candy store small business saturdayShopaholics, start your engines -- the time for nonstop post-Turkey Day deals is near! Black Friday and Cyber Monday hit in less than a week, but ... have you heard of Small Business Saturday? I hadn't until this year, but now, Saturday after Thanksgiving is devoted to "shopping small," or patronizing your "mom and pop" shops and restaurants. American Express started the campaign last year to help bolster local economies. Who knew!?

I love the idea! It's a brilliant way to get us to spend dollars locally and fuel our own communities. Some of us may do it anyway, but it couldn't hurt to be reminded to -- especially when these little businesses often get drowned out by the big box competition down the street that has millions of bucks to spend on their TV, radio, print Black Friday ad campaigns.


Now, I think instead of instantly gravitating to the department stores or even sites like Amazon or Overstock, people might think twice about going to buy their holiday gifts or that new digital camera at a store owned by one of their very own neighbors. Terrific!

But at the same time ... why stop at Saturday? The push to support local businesses should last all year long. We could stand to all try harder on an individual basis, and the government's gotta do what it can to support small shopping, too. (There has been some progress: For instance, the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act capped fees that the banks could charge merchants for debit card transactions -- one less thing for small biz owners to have to worry about.)

I definitely make a concerted effort to buy local when I can -- and I'm not just talking about at a farmers' market. Supporting local artisans, jewelers, bagel shops, hardware stores, etc. feels good, because you know you're helping your neighbor and your community thrive, as opposed to giving your dollars to corporate beasts we all know are already very well-fed. And it kills me whenever those mom and pop stores go under. They need us, so it's about time we start showing them we need them, too.

Here's a video from American Express that does a nice job of summing it all up ...

Will you participate in Small Business Saturday?


Image via YouTube

Read More >