Take a drive on our streets or stroll by our storefronts, and you will find many small businesses have put up trees, wreaths and lights to celebrate the holiday season.
This weekend, these businesses will be open for Small Business Saturday. This annual event was launched by American Express in 2010 at the height of the Great Recession. Small Business Saturday falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. For many small businesses, Saturday may be their largest single day of sales for the entire year.
Many of our businesses have been impacted by the pandemic and people choosing to shop online. I include myself in that group — I totally understand the ease of shopping on Amazon and other online merchants, and they’ve been running early Black Friday specials for weeks now.
Last year, due to my perfected procrastination techniques, I ordered a few last minute gifts from the online giant only to be disappointed when a couple of them didn’t show up on time. Ultimately, I ended up buying the same product, for the same price, from a local retailer and at the last minute so not to be embarrassed for Christmas morning delivery. I then spent a couple hours waiting in line to send back these items once they were delivered.
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This year, I have made a pledge to shop local. I admit it does require a bit more planning, but supporting our businesses in our communities will keep them vibrant and full of life.
American Express estimates an average two-thirds of every dollar spent at small businesses in our country stays in the local community. When purchases go elsewhere, our community loses jobs, resources and money that would have been circulated throughout our local economy.
We have all heard about the supply chain issues that businesses are dealing with, and now is the time to visit them and thank them for staying in our communities. You do that by spending local dollars that will stay local.
Local stores employ our neighbors, they sponsor youth sports, they support our local charities, they give our children their first jobs and they purchase supplies and services from other local businesses — and none of this would happen when people buy from Amazon.
These businesses need our help. This Saturday, we have an opportunity to support these local businesses. Shop local.
Get to know Illinois: 15 state symbols
Snack food — Popcorn
Amphibian — Eastern tiger salamander
Reptile — Painted turtle
Flower — Violet
Tree — White Oak
Bird — Cardinal
Insect — Monarch butterfly
Fish — Bluegill
Mineral — Fluorite
Animal — White-tailed deer
Fossil — The Tully Monster
Dance — Square dance
Prairie grass — Big Bluestem
Fruit — Gold Rush Apple
Soil — Drummer silty clay loam
Dan Adams is president and director of Central Illinois Media Group.
Bond County Farm Bureau member David Daniken anticipates a busy holiday season as Daniken Tree Farm opens before Thanksgiving, but topping last year’s record will be tough. In 2020, Daniken and his wife, Joey, sold the most trees in the family farm’s 53-year history.