Cayuga County has reported a higher than expected growth in sales tax revenue for 2021. This is encouraging news for our local economy and a testament to our supportive community. In these challenging times, whether supply chain issues or concern for our area businesses compelled you, shoppers chose to spend their dollars locally. As we do every year around this time, we at the Cayuga Economic Development Agency (CEDA) are asking you again to think local while you are holiday shopping.

Tied-up inventory and labor uncertainties have led large retailers to launch their Black Friday deals far in advance of the actual shopping holiday. I’m sure your mailboxes and inboxes have already been stuffed with big box offers. Save some of your holiday budget for Small Business Saturday, too.

Small Business Saturday, which occurs the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year, is “a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities,” according to the US Small Business Administration. This year Small Business Saturday is November 27. Many of the small businesses in our community will be participating in the festivities this year by offering promotions and special deals, so head to our downtowns and local stores to check them out.

Rather shop from the comfort of your home or office? Visit the social media page or website of your favorite local store, restaurant, or business. Sign up for the Auburn Downtown B.I.D. weekly email, which has holiday specials, discounts, and incentives for Small Business Saturday and other information about businesses in Downtown Auburn. The Cayuga County Chamber of Commerce offers an online directory, which lists Chamber Member businesses by category and will aide your local holiday shopping adventures. Search up #shopcayuga on almost any social media platform for a plethora of posts suggesting where to shop local.

All of this searching for gifts will surely work up an appetite. Head over to the Cayuga County Office of Tourism’s website for a listing of local restaurants and craft breweries. While you place your order, why not add a gift card or two to check off of your list that stocking stuffer, employee gift, or present for the person-who-has-everything?

The Taste NY Store at the NYS Equal Rights Heritage Center (25 South Street, Auburn) has nothing but Made In New York items, many from right here in Cayuga County. Can’t pick just one thing? They also put together local product holiday baskets. And don’t forget about swag, tickets, memberships, and gift certificates from your favorite arts venue or historic site.

Small Business Saturday is about more than just shopping, it’s about community sustainability. Buying from our Cayuga County small retailers and service providers 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. The other aforementioned investment you make by shopping local is through sales tax. Sales tax revenue helps local governments pay for services and programs, which helps to offset property taxes. Shopping local means that a portion of your sales tax dollars help our local community.

Let’s keep this trend of revenue growth going for our county. Local spending has exponentially positive effects that aren’t exclusive to promotions or to Small Business Saturday. Thank you for continuing to buy from our local businesses all year round. Every dollar you spend locally is an expression of support, which is essential to the well-being of our local economy and community.

Devon Roblee is marketing coordinator for the Cayuga Economic Development Agency (CEDA). Contact her at (315) 252-3500 or
Photo caption: Keren Falcon, Owner of Keren’s Natural Art, rings up a customer’s purchase at her boutique in the Fingerlakes Mall in Auburn, NY.