Shop Small!

Where is the first place the little league, boy and girl scouts, the graduating class at the high school, and small charities go to sell ads in their programs, ask for donations and raise money for their cause? Local businesses – “the heartbeat of our communities”. Small Business Saturday is a celebration of the small and local businesses, not only the heart of any community, but also of vast importance in our national economy. Small businesses employ half the private workforce, create 2/3 of the net new jobs, and account for 98% of all business. Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, (Today Show 11/24/12) stated that NYC  has recovered over 200% of the jobs lost since the recession began, mostly due to the resurgence of small businesses, while the overall recovery average in the country is only 40%. About two-thirds of small businesses have five employees or fewer, but those number adds up quickly. The Small Business Administration does a lot of public education to further understanding of the national importance of small businesses, and offers about $40,000,000 in grants for financial support. Go to www.sba.gov for more information. Three years ago American Express created Small Business Saturday to bring attention to small and local  businesses between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, and it was a great success – over 100 million people came out last year to Shop Small and support their local businesses. You can even get a $25 statement credit from American Express for shopping at a participating store. Shopping at small independent stores and  local businesses is a great way to find unique items for yourself and for year-round gifts – beautifully handmade arts and crafts, local interest books, unusual and eye-catching boutique styles for clothing and accessories – rather than the same pre-packaged assortments available in every big name store across the country. While you are walking down your Main Street rather than battling it out at the nearest mega-mall, you could stop at a local restaurant or cafe for coffee and some home-made refreshments, and save the franchise food for another day. Here in Bolton Landing, we have an extension to Small Business Saturday – on December 1-2, 2012, many of the shops on Lake Shore Drive will be offering discounts, beverages and specials. You can stop in at Town Hall on December 1 and purchase Bolton Bucks for 10% off at all participating stores and restaurants. For every $25 you spend at a Bolton Chamber member’s business you can get one chance in a drawing to win a gift basket valued at $500. Bring your dated receipts to the Town Hall from 10-5 on Saturday, or to the Bolton Chamber office on Sunday from 1-5 to enter the drawing – any shopping or dining done all day Saturday and up to 5 pm on Sunday is eligible. Also at the Town Hall all day Saturday there will be tables set up offering services of Reiki, mini-facials, make-up , intuitive readings, aura drawings, photo sessions, hula hooping and stand-up paddle board demonstrations. Stop in for some R&R! Penelope Jewell  ]]>