The holiday shopping hype is upon us and in today’s retail environment, we can find pretty much find anything we need through e-commerce. Maybe this year you’ve decided to take a break from the Black Friday crowds and want something more than clicking away on some website? We want to tell you about your opportunity do something different this holiday season by shopping small and local on Saturday, Nov. 24.

In 2010, Small Business Saturday began and always occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The concept of the locally based shopping holiday arose from the need to boost awareness and ensure vibrant local retail.

Spending your money at local brick-and-mortar shops is a conscious decision, and although it does the following, the action of supporting a business in the community goes well beyond boosting local morale or finding a cool place to buy gifts from.

Small businesses are the bedrock of the American economy. Small business account for approximately 55 percent of all U.S. jobs and in 2015, small businesses employed 58.9 million people in the U.S.

Small businesses also stimulate the local economy. When we choose to support local businesses, the money we spend stays local. For each $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in our community compared to $43 for national and franchise businesses. Those are huge benefits to our growing local economy and we can help by spending our dollars locally.

Here in Bakersfield, we all know and celebrate the small businesses that we enjoy to frequent. They are our family members, friends and neighbors. They employ us, sponsor our kid’s soccer team and add value to our community that we all benefit from.

Many local businesses are participating in Small Business Saturday this year. The Downtown Business Association hosts an annual shopping event, Champagne & Shopping, and similar events will also occur at The Marketplace and local farmers markets to name a few.

As you shop, we encourage you to support local retail this holiday season, especially on Nov. 24. 

Opinions expressed in this column are those of Be In Bakersfield, a grassroots movement aimed at changing the conversation around Bakersfield and activating positive change within our community. Visit them online at beinbakersfield.com or follow them on Facebook and Instagram @beinbakersfield.

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