Spend some of your holiday budget locally on Small Business Saturday

Next weekend, the holiday shopping frenzy begins. In recent years, the kickoff has been referred to as Black Friday because it is a chance for retailers to go into the black — make a profit — for the year.

Now, the selling season is creeping into the Thanksgiving holiday itself, as retailers are opening up Thursday evening, a trend we don’t like to see. Being thankful for one’s blessings does more for human happiness than engaging in a greedy stampede to save a few bucks.

Although a number of local businesses will be offering specials on Friday, truth be told, much of the mania is being generated by big box stores in the regional shopping centers. Those of us who live in smaller communities such as in this county need to remember that when you shop out of town, those dollars leave here forever.

In response to the Black Friday phenomenon in the big cities and the Cyber Monday phenomenon a few days later on the Internet, however, mom-and-pop retailers are fighting back. A new promotion has been developed called “Small Business Saturday.”

You can shop until you drop on Friday, but please put a little aside for the next day. (And for goodness sake, be wary of hackers and thieves who prey on Cyber Monday shoppers.)

Small retailers, the ones who sit next to you at church, who contribute to your local fundraiser, whose kids are friends with your kids, deserve your support, too. Without the small businesses that we have in this county, our quality of life — not to mention our population — would be much diminished.

Most of the dollars spent locally get re-spent locally — in fact, six or seven times. It benefits the local economy many times over to spend your dollars locally as much as possible.

The more retail outlets we are able to sustain as a community, the more viable and vibrant our communities can become.

The Record is full of ads this week, most of them from small, local businesses displaying gifts your loved ones will enjoy, and that you can enjoy buying without paying for a tank of gas, fighting traffic and negotiating through the crowds. They specialize in hard-to-find gifts, unlike the big boxes that appeal to the lowest common denominator.

Support your local businesses, particularly on Small Business Saturday.

Weigh in on our weekly poll about where you will shop for the holidays