My Turn: Pledge to shop small on Small Business Saturday

Lynn Saunders
Special to the Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; November 26th marks the second annual Small Business Saturday, a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods.

Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express in response to small businesses ownersand#8217; most pressing need: creating more demand for their products and services. The campaign galvanized Americans in support of small, independently owned local businesses across the country.

It doesnand#8217;t matter what you call it … Small Business Saturday, The 3/50 Project, Think Local First, Keep the Cheer Here … itand#8217;s all a growing realization by the consumer of the importance of small businesses to the overall economy and local communities.

Our local businesses generously contribute to our abundance of fundraisers. In return, it is our responsibility to and#8220;pay it forwardand#8221; and help keep them in business. By supporting our local small businesses, you are giving back to our local economy, supporting jobs of your friends and neighbors, and keeping the independent spirit alive.

We love The 3/50 Project for its simplicity and immediate call to action and#8212; Pick 3, Spend $50. Think about three local businesses youand#8217;d hate to see close. Maybe itand#8217;s the deli, the custom jewelry designer, the clothing store, or maybe itand#8217;s the pet store that always knows your name and carries that special food that Fido likes. Stop by, say hello, pick up a little somethingand#8230; thatand#8217;s what keeps them in business. Spend $50 and#8212; itand#8217;s a commitment to spend $50 more in the community than you normally would. It doesnand#8217;t have to be $50 and#8220;newand#8221; dollars, but a and#8220;shiftand#8221; of $50 that you would have spent elsewhere.

Thereand#8217;s no better time than the holiday season than to remind and encourage people of the benefits of shopping locally. Instead of saying local prices are too high, we challenge you to think not of what you canand#8217;t buy locally, but of what you can, thatand#8217;s perhaps you havenand#8217;t in awhile. You might just be surprised that in some cases the prices really are comparable. And think of the time you might save. For every $100 spent in locally owned stores, $68 remains in the local economy.

Take advantage of the unique selection of items, the friendly welcome of your friend or neighbor who owns the business, and pledge to Keep the Cheer Here this holiday season.

Lynn Saunders is president/CEO of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce.

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