As a small business owner (who will not be braving the malls or other stores on Black Friday) I encourage you to shop local, especially on November 30, which has been again designated, #SmallBusinessSaturday.
Because I work with so many business owners of manufacturing companies, I understand the need to partner with the “Main Street” business owners in a community. Whether you're buying widgets to use in your firm or simply shopping for the holidays, patronizing the local Mom and Pop store in your hometown helps assure your community remains vibrant and that your hard earned dollars are staying local. When you shop Big Box, your money is not being kept or used locally. I have also found that the items I can purchase from a Main Street store are unique and not something I'd find in a mall.
Small Business Saturday always follows the frenzy of Black Friday, but shopping local and working with local manufacturers is something you should try to do year-round. I know I shop local because of the amazing customer service I receive – something that is sometimes lacking in the big box stores. Also, if you're a manufacturer invite your clients to come and tour your plant, meet the foreman, see where their parts are being made -- it's a great way to assure a long-term relationship.
Will you shop local?