Shop local: Good things really do come in small boxes |

Shop local: Good things really do come in small boxes

Lynn Saunders
Special to the Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; It doesnand#8217;t matter what you call it … The 3/50 Project, Think Local First, Small Business Saturday … itand#8217;s a growing realization by the consumer of the importance of small businesses to the overall economy and local communities.

American Express hit a home run recently with the launch of the inaugural Small Business Saturday, held this year on Nov. 27 and#8212; firmly planting roots between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Brilliant idea.

The campaign galvanized Americans in support of small, independently owned local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and invigorate neighborhoods across the country.

Small Business Saturday was created in response to small business ownersand#8217; most pressing need: more demand for their products and services. Since launching, the campaign has achieved a number of significant milestones:

and#8226; 1.2 million people joined the movement and helped spread the word by and#8220;likingand#8221; Small Business Saturday on Facebook.

and#8226; Nearly 30,000 tweets were sent

and#8226; Preliminary American Express spending data indicates small retailers that accept American Express saw an estimated 27 percent increase in sales compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009. (Note: American Express was very clear in saying it didnand#8217;t matter whether you used their card, another credit card or good ole green backs).

The Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce joins the local Tahoe/Truckee business and merchant associations to take this holiday season to remind and encourage people about the benefits of shopping locally.

We love The 3/50 Project for its simplicity and immediate and#8220;call to actionand#8221; and#8212; Pick 3, Spend $50. Think about three local businesses youand#8217;d hate to see close. Maybe itand#8217;s the deli, perhaps itand#8217;s the sporting goods 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 something … 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.

It is very important to note that this is not an all or nothing campaign designed to get people to stop shopping at larger businesses or online. Itand#8217;s to recognize the importance of small business to the local economies.

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 just one small business daily, weekly, or even monthly, you are giving back to our local economy, supporting jobs of your friends and neighbors, and keeping the independent spirit alive.

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, that 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.

Donand#8217;t wait until that favorite store, business or restaurant is gone … act now! This holiday season, and all year … Pick 3. Spend $50. Who are your three?

and#8212; Lynn Saunders is president and CEO of the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce.

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