Nov. 30 is Small Business Saturday, and Sylva is a great place to observe the day.
Small Business Saturday was started in 2010 as the nation was struggling to pull out of the depths of the Great Recession. Within two years it had become a nationwide event. It’s certainly a big day for towns like Sylva and Dillsboro, where small businesses are the beating heart of the community.
To say it has been a success is an understatement. Spending nationwide since 2010 on the day is estimated at a combined $103 billion.
Jackson County’s Shop Local campaign emphasizes the value of contributing to the local economy year-round, but Small Business Saturday stands out as a day that boosts our friends and neighbors running restaurants, retail shops, bookstores and every flavor of small business. It’s a day that can keep a business afloat through the dark months ahead, providing a backstop of funds to hedge against losing sales days to snow and ice.
Every dollar spent locally is the best investment in the local economy, with about two-thirds of that spending staying local. That means local businesses keep the lights on, keep local employees on the payroll and contribute to the community in myriad ways – sponsoring youth groups and sporting events, boosting our schools and more.
“Last year, Small Business Saturday made a major impact on the U.S. economy,’’ says Thomas A. Stith III, N.C. District Director for the U.S. Small Business Administration. “108 million consumers shopped or dined small, generating more than $12 billion in reported spending. It is exciting to see how these shopping experiences directly impact our neighborhoods and communities by adding dollars into our local communities.
“The positive impact of Small Business Saturday can and will be felt, right here, in North Carolina, as more than 40 percent of the state’s private workforce is employed by our 850,000 small businesses.”
In addition to benefiting your community, we would posit that shopping small is a lot better for your health than the stress of Black Friday, the day that people pile out of bed at zero dark thirty and head to the mass retailers to fight over specials like a scene out of “Lord of the Flies.’’ (A few years back there an actual riot over waffle irons. Google it and you’ll probably come across dozens of similar consumer frenzy stories).
On Saturday, when Sylva is also hosting its Winter Market, we guarantee you won’t come away bruised, unless perhaps Santa hugs you too hard. (Yes, he’ll be there).
This weekend, get out in the town you love and get something for the people you love. It will warm your heart, their heart(s) and keep the economic engine of the community you care far humming strong.