Governor asks Washingtonians to shop local
Thursday, November 27, 2014 8:06 pm
Everyone is familiar with Black Friday, the post-Thanksgiving gift shopping frenzy, when masses of people converge on shopping malls, raising their stress levels and blood pressure. But if you were to save some of your holiday shopping and energy for Small Business Saturday, you would be doing much more not only for your own health, but also for our state's economy.
Begun in 2010, the campaign to shop small has yielded big dividends for America's and Washington state's economy. Last year, shoppers spent $5.7 billion at locally-owned shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, according to a survey conducted by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). And last year's total marked a 3.6 percent increase over the previous year.
This same survey indicates that on average, shoppers estimate nearly one-third of their holiday shopping will be done at small businesses. Additional benefits to shopping Main Street speak to the importance of community:
Small business is no small statistic when it comes to job creation. In fact, it's primary to any economy.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration's Office of Advocacy, Washington's small businesses employed over half - or 1.2 million - of the state's private workforce in 2011. Almost all firms with employees are small. They make up 98 percent of all employers in the state.
Need even more good reasons to choose Main Street?
Of course big box stores stock items that Main Street shops don't, but you might be surprised at the variety of items that Main Street stores provide.
So how about starting a new shopping tradition this year? Don't go all out on Black Friday. Spread the holiday cheer by shopping small on Main Street on Small Business Saturday. This new trend will benefit everyone.
Editor's Note: Jay Inslee is governor of the state of Washington. Patrick Connor is Washington state director for the National Federation of Independent Business.