When I was back on the East Coast earlier this week, I started seeing commercials calling for support of Small Business Saturday. This year marked the second Small Business Saturday promotion by American Express and this is one event that I was glad to find out about.
During the time I was growing up in El Centro, California, I remember numerous shops that went up and down Main Street that sold a plethora of different goods. There were clothing stores, jewelry stores, the local drug store, music shop, hardware stores, a toy shop, various eateries etc. I thought it was fun getting to know the people who ran and worked at the various places. Later on when I would come back to visit, I saw that many of these shops had closed down. Bigger stores such as Walmart, Home Depot, Rite-Aid and Target had moved in and were able to offer products at a lower price since they carried larger inventories. As a result of not being able to compete, going out of business ensued.
Now it seemed that the sense of community that once existed had gone by the wayside. You no longer said hello to those who worked at the store, you just made your purchases and left. Things were now a lot more impersonal.
Small Business Saturday is an event promoted by American Express calling for support of small business by going out into your community and patronizing those shops that are owned by individuals who have not thrown in the towel to larger corporations and still carry on in an American tradition. Even though this year’s event will probably be over by the time you read this post, I call upon you to support small businesses whenever you can. Let businesses owners know that their efforts are not in vain and that being vacuumed up by giant conglomerates is not something that has to be accepted in today’s marketplace.
Thank you American Express for starting this nationwide event that is a reflection of the American spirit!