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Spend Small Business Saturday In The Sierra

MADERA COUNTY – Mom always said good things come in small packages, and she was right. Before setting up plans to pitch your tent at a big box store in Fresno for Black Friday this week, consider making it a very happy holiday season for our own friends and neighbors, by dropping your dollars in the mountains on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 29.

With an ever-growing movement to encourage foothill residents to make more purchases locally, now’s the time to walk the talk as we head into the serious holiday shopping season.

This weekend is the fifth year marking Small Business Saturday, dedicated to supporting brick and mortar independent businesses across the country. First conceived as a corporate initiative, the idea has grown into a movement to counter Black Friday, the shopping day after Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, which takes place a few days later.

Many stores in the foothills have special promotions, extended hours, killer sales and exciting enticements to bring consumers across their threshholds, so contact your favorite retailers to see what’s going on this Saturday.

Steves Pets - the Batemans outside their shop - photo by Kellie FlanaganIn Oakhurst, for instance, Steve’s Tropical Fish & Pet Supply owner Kristen Bateman is planning give-aways of little critters with purchase, and bottom-dollar sales. She and husband Steve are completely in favor of the special recognition mom and pop shops like theirs receive on Small Business Saturday.

“Small is the new black,” says Bateman with enthusiasm. “Small Business Saturday is quickly becoming a household phrase. In many businesses you often get the chance to be waited on by the owner or possibly a family member. Also, when you choose to shop that small business, you’ll be helping your own local economy and possibly even a neighbor by helping to create local jobs.”

Organizers say research indicates that for every $100 spent at a local store, $68 dollars stays in the community, whereas chain store shopping leaves only $43 in the community. When shopping virtually, virtually nothing ends up in your own town. Shopping locally supports your own neighborhood with money that’s fed back into schools, emergency services, road repair and jobs.

It’s not just the economy that makes shopping small a good idea; often, you may find better product and more readily available information about your purchase.

“Small businesses may have better knowledge about their products than large stores do,” adds Bateman. “It’s the ultimate customer service.”

Branches Books and Gifts - Anne Driscoll is the owner of Oakhurst independent bookstore - Photo by Kellie FlanaganThere may be items on your list that you can’t to find in your home town, but there are also myriad businesses in the mountain area full of unique items sure to make someone on your list jump for joy. Also key to shopping locally is the fact that dollars spent in Fresno do not benefit Madera County or any of the services our tax dollars help support, including roads, libraries, animal control, law enforcement, schools and more.

Small businesses maintain jobs in the community and local businesses support the community in many ways, from paying taxes to generously contributing to every silent auction and benefit raffle that comes their way. That’s especially true in the mountain area.

Small Business Saturday is a reminder to consumers: keep your holiday shopping dollars in your own community and support local jobs.

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online