With all due respect to the big-box stores, as well as to the seductive lure of finding a bargain online, there’s much to be said for investing your shopping dollars at a local establishment or a Mom-and-Pop operation.

That’s the simple logic behind Small Business Saturday, slated this year for Nov. 25 — the day after its better-known sibling, Black Friday.

The movement, launched in 2010 by American Express, is an attempt to bolster sales at smaller retailers around the country. Last year on the day, an estimated 112 million people heeded the call, spending $15.4 billion nationwide to kick off the holiday shopping season.

When you make a purchase at a store located on the equivalent of your municipality’s Main Street, you’re doing more than buying a lovely floral arrangement, a child’s winter coat or a package of gift-wrap.

You’re also contributing to the local economy by creating jobs, not to mention shoring up the township’s tax base.

The U.S. Small Business Administration reports that the 28 million small businesses in the country account for 54 percent of all sales. 

Shopping at these establishments helps keep money within the neighborhood — that is, it goes to support your schools, libraries and municipal services.

Research out of Chicago notes that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city. That compares with $42 of each $100 spent at a chain retailer.

There’s a ripple effect as well: local merchants often support other area businesses, while the megastores tend to get their goods from their huge corporate warehouses.

And don’t ignore the personal impact of your shopping jaunt.

Often, the card-store owner or the hardware-store manager is someone you know: Perhaps he coaches your kid’s soccer team; she may sing in your church choir. 

It’s hard, if not downright impossible, to have that connection with the disembodied voice on the other end of the line when you’re ordering from a retail giant.

By the same token, small businesses contribute to the fabric your neighborhood, holding special events and promotions that benefit local causes such as food kitchens or the regional arts scene.

The Small Business Authority notes that these establishments are also more likely than the chains to serve as community hubs — the coffee shop that sponsors regular open-mic night, or the pizza shop that holds fund raiser for the Little League.

After the full-contact competition known as Black Friday wraps up, makes good sense to save a little strength — and shekels — for Small Business Saturday. 

Your community will thank you.

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