Today is Small Business Saturday, when shopping locally and supporting local businesses is promoted nationwide by local business organizations, big cities and small towns across the United States.

This is about keeping shopping dollars local so that local businesses can thrive. Spending local doesn't just help the small businesses where the money is spent; it supports an entire array of other businesses.

A single local retailer may employ a few or several people, so shopping local helps to provide jobs for those employees. But that same local retailer also does business locally with other local companies, such as banks, contractors in the fields of HVAC, plumbing, electrical, landscaping, painting, remodeling and many other professions.

If that same retailer does deliveries, it may also do business with a local auto dealer, local mechanics, and local gas stations. Also, think about the local professional services that same retailer uses such as accountants, lawyers and financial experts, just to name a few. And that same retailer may buy their employees lunch or gift cards to local restaurants during the holiday season, thus further increasing the reach of those locally spent dollars. When you spend locally, you are not just helping one business, but you are helping your entire community.

Nobody denies the ease of shopping online and ordering from e-commerce monsters like Amazon, ebay, and Zappo's, as well as retailers that promote online shopping such as Walmart and others. You click on the products that you want to buy, hit a couple of buttons, and then you wait a couple of days for the packages to arrive. But, what are you missing?

It wasn't that long ago when families and friends would get together the weekend after Thanksgiving Day and go on those big shopping trips, with their bodies nourished from turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and an entire array of other culinary delights. The sales, the fun, and the joy of doing something together with family and friends can't be replaced by clicking some buttons on your phone.

And then there are the Thanksgiving leftovers when you get home to enjoy for at least one more day. You can still do this and go "old school" the weekend after Thanksgiving and especially on Small Business Saturday.

So, shop Small Business Saturday, support your local businesses, support your community and have fun with your family and friends. What could be better than that?

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