Wednesday, November 27, 2013
Saturday, November 30th is designated as “Shop Small Saturday.” The purpose is to encourage people to spend money in small businesses – shops, stores, restaurants, and tourist attractions – owned and operated by individuals, not national corporations or large companies that receive so much of the attention during the holidays.
The membership of the Georgetown County Chamber of Commerce, along with Chambers across the country, is comprised over 98% of small businesses. The Small Business Association (SBA) reports that small businesses make up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms and 64% of net new private-sector jobs.
The backbone of our country has been, still is, and always will be small businesses. The leaders of our civic organizations and churches, the vast majority of our elected officials, and the individuals who consistently work to improve the quality of life in our communities are owners, operators or managers of small businesses.
The innovators and entrepreneurs, the drivers of change, the risk takers are more often than not associated with small businesses. Small is good. Small is great.
Shop Small is more than a slogan for this Saturday. It’s a commitment to those small things in life, the things that matter – a handshake, a smile, a hug, an act of kindness, a prayer of thanksgiving.
My family and I have made three pledges for the holiday season.
1. Shop Small. We’re going to look to buy presents, but also necessities and even luxuries, at small stores, shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions.
2. Shop Georgetown County. With two young girls, trying to avoid the malls and the bigger cities will be a challenge, but we’re resolute about shopping in Georgetown County.
3. Shop Front Street. Our town is hurting. The tragic fire only exacerbated an already difficult economic recovery. These store owners and restaurant operators and the people who work on Front Street are our neighbors, members of our church, parents of our children’s friends. We owe it to them and the other small business owners throughout our county to shop small first.
I invite you to talk with your family members about these three pledges.
The one phrase I have heard the most over the past 20 months is “Georgetown has so much potential.” It didn’t take long for me to be a believer as well. But to achieve its potential, Georgetown needs to focus on Georgetown. We need to have each other’s back and give each other a helping hand. We need to work together, play together, eat together and shop together.
Let’s all pledge to shop small, think small, play small and do small. And when we do, the rewards and the satisfaction will be huge.
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