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November 02, 2016

For all of you holiday shoppers alienated with the bedlam of Black Friday, I enthusiastically encourage you to support Small Business Saturday (launched by American Express) by shopping locally on November 26.
     Not only will you find an amazing mix of unique gifts and exceptional services to purchase for family and friends, you will be contributing to the well-being of your community’s economy.
     According to numerously-sourced survey reports, locally-owned businesses:
  • Return on average 52% of their revenue to the local economy by way of property taxes, retail sales taxes, food and beverage sales taxes, and more;
  • Generate 70% more local economic activity per square foot of space than a big box retailer;
  • Do more of their business spending (banking, advertising, etc.) locally;
  • Create more jobs, retain more of those jobs and fill those jobs with local hires who spend their income locally;
  • Provide better employee wages and benefits, in some sectors; and
  • Sponsor, donate and volunteer more often to local charities, service clubs and not-for-profits.
     More importantly, 68% of every $1 spent at a local small business stay in the community, as compared to 44% for big box retail.
     Today, small businesses account for some 28 million U.S. businesses, employ half of those working in the private sector and create two out of every three new jobs, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.  If grouped as a country of their own, our small business output would rank No. 3 in the world, above even Germany and Japan.
     Small businesses also pay 44% of the private payroll in the U.S.
     In Elmhurst and many other communities, sales taxes account for a municipality’s largest source of budget revenue, often offsetting any need for a property tax increase.
     So there are numerous benefits to shopping “small” this holiday season—and all year ‘round.