On Small Business Saturday, Think Cayuga!

It’s that time of year. The time when we set aside entire days for shopping. The time when shopping feels more like a sport. The time when we look for something extra special to spend our hard earned dollars on. As you wind down from your Thanksgiving festivities and start to plan the perfect shopping strategy, don’t forget about the stores and shops right here in Cayuga County. Plenty of our larger retailers will have the deals you expect on Black Friday, but be sure to save some of your holiday budget for Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is “a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities,” according to the US Small Business Administration. Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 and is celebrated the Saturday following Thanksgiving each year.  This year Small Business Saturday is November 25. The “shopping holiday” was originally sponsored and trademarked by American Express, a company that has its roots in Cayuga County. Many of the small businesses in our community will be participating in the festivities this year by offering promotions and special deals. Head to our downtowns and local stores, they are sure to be abuzz.

We also shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that Small Business Saturday is about more than just shopping, it’s about community sustainability. Every dollar we spend here in Cayuga County supports this community in its own way. Buying local means that the businesses themselves can continue to operate and grow. In turn, the local business can then reinvest a portion of those dollars locally. They can invest in the growth of their own business by improving their building or adding new product lines. They can invest in their workers, who then can go out and spend more money locally. They can invest in other local businesses by sourcing products and/or services locally, and then those businesses can go on to invest in all the same ways. See what happens here? Spending your dollar here means it can circulate here rather than somewhere else. The other investment you make by shopping local is through sales tax. Sales tax helps local governments to pay for services and programs, which helps to offset property taxes. Shopping local means that a portion of your sales tax dollars help our community instead of someone else’s.

Not sure where to shop this November 25? Stop by the Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce’s offices at 2 State Street, Auburn, during regular business hours to pick up a free copy of the Community Guide & Member Directory, which lists Chamber Member businesses by category and will aide your local holiday shopping adventures. Also, check out the Citizen’s Holiday Gift Guide for plenty of ideas, coupons, and special promotions. Visit the social media page or website of your favorite local store, restaurant, or business. Even if they aren’t offering a special deal, shop there anyway. The positive effects of local spending aren’t exclusive to promotions or to Small Business Saturday. They happen every day, all year round, with every purchase.

So during this Small Business Saturday, and every day thereafter, think Cayuga when you shop. If you love this community, invest in it. It can be as simple as keeping just some of your holiday dollars here in Cayuga County. I know I will!

Tracy Verrier is the executive director of the Cayuga Economic Development Agency and Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce.
Published in the November 23, 2017, edition of The Citizen.