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Remember small business Saturday

Black Friday might be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but a survey released this week shows that a record number of shoppers plan to shop local on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 28. This is the fifth straight year for Small Business Saturday, which has steadily grown each year. More than 70 million consumers poured $14.3 billion into the till of small business retailers on SBS in 2014.

The SBS survey, conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, indicates a record 55 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday, while 83 percent say Small Business Saturday makes them want to shop local and shop small all year long.

Ron Aldridge, Mississippi director of NFIB, is encouraged by the findings.

“When you shop local and shop small, you’re supporting your community,” Aldridge said. “When you shop at a chain store, most of the money goes back to some corporate office somewhere else, but when you support small, most of that money stays here at home.”

Statistics show Aldridge may be correct.

According to the fourth annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey:

• 80 percent of consumers are willing to pay slightly more for an item if it is purchased from a small, independently owned retailer as opposed to online or at a large retailer.

• On average, consumers are planning to do 35 percent of their holiday shopping at small businesses.

• 45 percent of consumers who expect to shop on the day plan to spend more on Small Business Saturday this year than they spent last year.

• Almost two-thirds (64 percent) of consumers who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are motivated by the contributions that small businesses make to their community.

It’s a fact that shopping local and supporting small businesses like many in Oxford and surrounding communities stimulates economic growth, while small businesses are also the largest employer and create most of the new jobs in America.

“You probably don’t know the owner of a big department store, but there’s a good chance you know a few small-business owners,” Aldridge said. “They’re your friends and neighbors. They’re some of the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity. They’re what make our communities strong.”

So after eating tons of turkey and pumpkin pie on Thursday and hitting those big box stores on Friday, be sure to set Saturday aside to support local businesses.