Support Your Local Businesses This Holiday Season

There seems to be more and more campaigns in support of patronizing locally owned and small businesses in rural communities.  With the holiday season and Black Friday fast approaching, we encourage you to keep the information from the following articles in mind.

The first article was released by the Nebraska Department of Economic Development regarding Small Business Saturday, a concept created by American Express:

LINCOLN, NEB. (Nov. 21, 2011)—First there was Black Friday, and then there was Cyber Monday. Now there’s Small Business Saturday® (SBS), a day to support the small businesses that fuel the economy and invigorate communities.

Nebraska is filled with diverse and innovative small businesses that employ our friends, family members and neighbors. As the holiday shopping season ramps up, there is no better way to support your community than by frequenting small local businesses.

On Nov. 26, Nebraskans—and people all across the country—are being asked to shop at their favorite local stores.

In Nebraska, small businesses are part of what makes the state unique. Our high quality restaurants, museum gift shops and gourmet food stores bring the flavors of Nebraska to life. And, a visit to one of the state’s wineries, art studios or antique stores will not only bolster the state’s economy, but will provide a one-of-a-kind gift.

So start the season off right with a shopping trip that will fill the state’s small merchants with joy.

Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: creating more demand for their products and services. A total of 1.5 million Facebook users, 130 public and private organizations, and 41 elected officials declared their support for SBS last year.

If you believe in this effort and would like to support your local merchants throughout the holiday season, please consider utilizing our area’s Christmas Promotions as an opportunity to complete your holiday shopping and support local businesses all at the same time.  You can find more information on upcoming holiday events and promotions here

A local Chamber member shared the following article with us and we feel it epitomizes the true meaning of our Christmas Promotion efforts. 

Christmas 2011 — Birth of a New Tradition

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods — merchandise that has been produced at the expense of American labor. This year will be different. This year Americans will give the gift of genuine concern for other Americans. There is no longer an excuse that, at gift giving time, nothing can be found that is produced by American hands. Yes there is!
It’s time to think outside the box, people. Who says a gift needs to fit in a shirt box, wrapped in Chinese produced wrapping paper?
Everyone — yes EVERYONE gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local American hair salon or barber?
Gym membership? It’s appropriate for all ages who are thinking about some health improvement.
Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or a book of gift certificates.
Are you one of those extravagant givers who think nothing of plunking down the Benjamin’s on a Chinese made flat-screen? Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.
There are a bazillion owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates. And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town Americans with their financial lives on the line to keep their doors open.
How many people couldn’t use an oil change for their car, truck or motorcycle, done at a shop run by the American working guy?
Thinking about a heartfelt gift for mom? Mom would LOVE the services of a local cleaning lady for a day.
My computer could use a tune-up, and I KNOW I can find some young guy who is struggling to get his repair business up and running.
OK, you were looking for something more personal. Local crafts people spin their own wool and knit them into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes. Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave your server a nice tip. And, how about going out to see a play or ballet at your hometown theatre. Musicians need love too, so find a venue showcasing local bands.
Honestly, people, do you REALLY need to buy another ten thousand Chinese lights for the house? When you buy a five dollar string of light, about fifty cents stays in the community. If you have those kinds of bucks to burn, leave the mailman, trash guy or babysitter a nice BIG tip.
You see, Christmas is no longer about draining American pockets so that China can build another glittering city. Christmas is now about caring about US, encouraging American small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t imagine.

THIS is the new American Christmas tradition.

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