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Howard's Commentary - Give the Locals a Look this Holiday

28 million small businesses exist in America and account for 54% of all US sales. Over the last 2 decades, small businesses have accounted for 65% of net new jobs. And the dollars spent in your local small businesses stay in your local community and support local business owners, local employees, and local communities.

In fact, a study by Economic Impact showed for every $100 spent in a local business, $68 stays in your local community--compared to $43 dollars when that same $100 is spent in a chain store.

NOW, let me clear--I shop at chain stores, I shop on-line. I don't discourage you from doing so. But when you have a chance, think local first. And that's why each Saturday after Thanksgiving there is a "Small Business Saturday" to give you a day to focus your buying power here at home .

Founded six years ago in response to small business owners' most pressing need – getting more customers during the busy holiday shopping season – Small Business Saturday has quickly earned its stripes among holiday traditions. Last year, 88 million consumers shopped small on Small Business Saturday, up 14.9 percent from 2013, spending $14.3 billion at local and independent businesses. This year the hype and buzz surrounding the day seems to have only increased.( 11-27-16)

It's more than the economic impact, of course. Local small businesses give you meaningful, personal gifts that connect to our community. They provide the personal touch to service that comes when the boss is the one at the counter.

So this holiday--Small Biz Saturday or any other day--visit Oglebay Institute's Holiday sale, the downtown Artisan Center, Alan Lestini's Words and Music, Artworks Around Town (and the many other Center Market shops), Deluxe Novelty toy store in Martins Ferry, Uptown merchants on and around Jefferson Avenue in Moundsville, and of the many other local independent businesses that make this great Grand Valley such a special place.