I’m back in Laredo and ready for Small Business Saturday … dang it, I lie. I am not going shopping at all. I am not much of a shopper and definitely am not a fan of Black Friday nor of Cyber Monday. Last year a new shopping trend popped up – the small business Saturday. I like the idea and if I were more of a holiday consumer, I would shop local businesses.
When you do, you are supporting your neighbors and are probably finding items that not every Tom, Dick and Harry have. El Partner wants me to tell readers that he went “Black Friday shopping” at the Computer Hospital but what he was trying to say is that he is patronizing local businesses – it just so happened that he went on Black Friday.
The Small Business Saturday movement has its local supporters in Councilwoman Cindy Liendo Espinoza and Laredo Main Street – both have been posting to their facebook pages to remind everyone about the types of businesses that are locally owned and operated. Small Business Saturday does have its own web page but… it’s a little suspicious when its main sponsor is American Express. You are better off shopping with cash so more of the money for whatever item you are buying stays in the Laredo area rather than in fees to Amex. There are communities across the United States that have for years focused on small business development and promotion – but, you don’t see that much in Laredo. The monthly Farmers Market offers the closest in its certification (not sure if it is yet certified but they were trying) and support of Go Texan products.
The Chicago Sun Times (thank you, person who left theirs at the airport) had an editorial with these benefits to “shop small”:
† Studies show that dollars spent at local independently owned stores produce greater returns to the community, in the form of taxes and other local purchases, than dollars spent at local chains or online.
† Non-profit groups tend to get far greater support from small-business owners than from large businesses.
† Locally owned businesses are often easier on the environment — they can purchase more goods locally and are often accessible by foot or bus.
† Service is often better at locally owned businesses, which can save consumers money and time.
So if you are looking to spend money, consider shopping the independent stores on San Bernardo or Feldman’s (McAllen & Laredo) or Foster’s or The Kids’ Bookstore and so on and so on. If you need your computer fixed, visit Jorge at the Computer Hospital or if you want the best pharmacist around who gets to know you by by name, visit the Izaguirres at Laredo Downtown Pharmacy and support your local small businesses. I could mention many others but… I have to get ready to go shopping (for consumables only – my fridge is empty!) on Small Business Saturday.