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The day after Thanksgiving, known as Black Friday, has been ingrained into our society for years. Large retail corporations pressure consumers to shop earlier and even the day of Thanksgiving. It’s understandable to want a great deal, especially when most of us want to get some early Christmas shopping started, but you don’t have to wake up at 3AM or push through a crowd to get a discount.

In fact, there’s a much better way to spend your hard earned money this season.

Small Business Saturday, for example, is a great way to participate in deals this time of year.

A shop small window tag in a small business.

If you aren’t familiar, Small Business Saturday is a day for small businesses across America to invite customers to purchase their products or services over the ones from corporate businesses. It’s been happening since 2010, and it takes place the day after Black Friday. It’s a way to celebrate the shop owners who work hard and the businesses that make communities vibrant. Small Business Saturday also focuses on the push for consumers to support small businesses over the larger ones during Black Friday.

Small businesses can take the form of restaurants, cafes, gift shops, clothing boutiques, specialty retail stores, art galleries, or even small farm stalls. Business owners come from all backgrounds and walks of life, and often work with their families or only a few other employees. Therefore, it’s important that they’re recognized for all of their hard work.

What’s the best part of supporting Small Business Saturday? You’ll be able to receive a great retail deal, but you’ll be helping a family put food on the table versus helping a CEO purchase another vacation home.

Plus, by pledging to shop small this season, not only will you receive better service, but you’ll feel good knowing that every penny you spend goes back into your community. Why is this? Because local businesses have to pay taxes (just like you) to your town or city, and shopping small helps to boost the local economy.

Not only is money coming in through taxes, but business owners have an upkeep cost. Whether it be through supplies, advertising, payroll, etc. chances are they’re also supporting other local distributors to help them keep their shop running effectively. This means more jobs for residents, more money for families, better property value, and better funding for public resources such as, schools and community centers.

Successful small businesses also encourage others to open up shop, which is great because that means more support and economic stability for your community. Residents may have to travel or move to find stable housing or income, however, a bustling local economy can help everyone work and shop closer to their community.

Of course, money isn’t the only way small businesses support your community. In fact, many of them are actively involved in community events. They participate to get their brand out there, but also to give back to those around them. In fact, some businesses even sponsor school sports teams or contribute to non-profit organizations such as, food banks or youth service programs.

Small shops in Stafford Springs, Connecticut.

Small businesses are the foundation of our great country. They support dreams and show that with hard work anything is possible. They add so much value to our communities, so it’s important we give back. Of course, our insurance agency believes everyone should always support local businesses, but this should just be more of an incentive to visit them.

To find a list of shops and stores participating in Small Business Saturday near you, this handy map can show you where to shop.

Don’t fall into the ploy of Black Friday, pledge to shop small this holiday season! Are you planning to shop small and buy local this season? We’d love to hear about what businesses you plan to support in the comments below.