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Black Friday vs. Shop Small Saturday: Do You REALLY Have to Think About It?

There is no one day where more attention is paid to the American consumer than the day after Thanksgiving. Read how you can use that power for good, support your local businesses.

As much as I would love this post to have a calm and moderate tone, sorry, it's just not happening.

Just starting to come off the worst economic downfall most of us have ever been through, we find ourselves on the cusp of the start of the holiday shopping season.

Plan this morning was to write about promoting 2nd Annual Shop Small SaturdayThis coming Saturday, November 26, the focus is on shopping at your local merchant, and supporting small business, which will, in turn support us all.

Watched the morning news first, was absolutely horrified to see wall-to-wall ads for big-box stores open all night, one gleefully adding the tag"...so you don't have to wait outside."

Folks-take a look at your downtown. See the empty storefronts?

Think about your own circle. Know anyone who is out of work, or had their hours cut back?

Money spent in the community puts dollars in the pockets of your neighbors, and strengthens us all. It is really that simple.  

You don't even need to be in a 'big gift' frame of mind. Have the last few years taught us nothing at all??

Last year I started a series called Giving the Gift, where ideas for unique, thoughtful and local gifts were highlighted, in the areas of DelightIn Honor OfEntertainment, EnrichmentMembership, and Original Art. And yes, I have a bunch more of new ideas lined up for the days to come!

Will Hamm, a Realtor pal in Denver who works smart, and with his heart,  shared a story written by a NEW Realtor friend,  Toni Weidman  from ReMAX of New Port Richey FL. Called Let's Help Keep Our Local Businesses Open, Toni stresses the importance of not just buying local, but buying AMERICAN, and buying SMART. Click here to read her very simple, common-sense suggestions.

Look, I've been in retail 25 years. Trust me when I say big-box store management likens the American buying public to a gang of rats in a maze, looking for the cheese (in this case, cheap consumer electronics).  With a few cheap TVs they manufacture drama, and attempt to re-train the consumer to think of shopping as a competiton sport. I say THEY need to be re-trained.

There is nothing wrong with big TVs, are we just that hard-up for them??

I understand these stores pay local taxes, and employ local people too, but a bad Black Friday will NOT cause anyone to lose their jobs in these stores. But even small actions of many COULD send all the right messages, on everything from quality of life, reminding them consumers hold the cards, and NO, we're not stupid, and we're going to be [...] for a stupid TV...which will probably be just as cheap next week.  SERIOUSLY.

SO-on Friday-sleep in. Make turkey and cranberry pancakes. Call some old friends and catch up. And make your shopping list for Saturday.

There is no single day where the consumer has more attention paid to them than the day after Thanksgiving.  Please, choose to use your power for good. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Robin I. November 22, 2011 at 01:05 PM
I agree completely, and recommend giving certificates to local restaurants and services as well. I would take it further and offer the suggestion of buying only items made here in the United States, there are many locally handmade items available on Etsy for example. Supporting local business is one step, and not supporting mass produced imports, wherever sold, is a further step. It makes sense economically, emotionally and ecologically.
Marie Graham, ASP, IDS The Refreshed Home November 22, 2011 at 03:59 PM
Hi, and thanks for commenting. I did not expect to get so worked up about this topic, but as I was writing, was thinking about the store employee that was KILLED by the crush a few years ago, and the pregnant woman who got trampled I think last year, and sort of developed a little potty mouth, my apologies. The mentality is that shopping this way is 'an experience' in itself, a personal challenge. The more people hear others talking about BOTH the negatives of Black Friday hype, and all the great positives of shopping locally-the greater the chance for the insanity to change. Love that at least two of the comments are from Rockland. Have shopped in Nyack numerous times, but will add New City to my list.
JoanB November 22, 2011 at 04:26 PM
I love the concept of supporting the local businesses and I try to did it all year long. Don't forget to add Pearl River to your list and I will add the the shops in New City and Nyack to my list when shopping this Holiday season. There are several great shops in Pearl River and especially Mel's Army & Navy store! He has always been a huge supporter of the community and has been in business for over 55 years. Let's keep the small guys in business!
Marie Graham, ASP, IDS The Refreshed Home November 22, 2011 at 10:53 PM
Joan-I will add Pearl RIver to my tour, and check out Mel's too. Thanks for commenting!
Steve November 22, 2011 at 11:27 PM
Thank you Carlo, Nyack is doing the right thing by not using parking meters for the Holiday Season. They must make shopping in town as conducive as possible. Small town businesses are the "backbone" of our local economy. Keep it local and have a great Holiday. Steve New City

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