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The top ten reasons to "shop small" on Small Business Saturday

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 (American Express)

There hasn’t been a lot of good news in the small-business sector recently. The self-employed are getting hammered by insurance premium increases under the healthcare law, and they are trying to keep their doors open in a challenging economic environment. Meanwhile, leaders in Washington, D.C. only seem to only understand big business, not small. For these reasons and more, both consumers and small-business owners are looking forward to participating in the growing trend of “shopping small” on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. If you are looking for reasons to shop small, here are just a few:

1. Small is the new black
Now in its fourth year, Small Business Saturday is catching on as a positive cultural trend. Research indicates that shoppers who had heard of Small Business Saturday spent $5.5 billion on that day last year, and 77 percent plan to shop at small businesses this Saturday.

2. They’ve put out the welcome mat for you
This year, 67 percent of participating small businesses will offer discounts on Small Business Saturday, while more than a third will offer coupons for future offers or discounts.

3. It’s friendly
At a small business, chances are you’ll be waited on by the owner, a member of their family, or someone who reports directly to the owner. This proximity to the boss makes for better customer service – something that can be hard to find at larger stores.

4. Your local economy will benefit
Shopping  small creates and supports local jobs. Each time you purchase a product or a service on Main Street, you are helping to pay the salary of a friend or neighbor.

5. The national economy will benefit
Historically, two-thirds of net new jobs in this country are created by small business. Small firms are also responsible for over half of national GDP. There’s nothing small about that.

6. Small businesses need some good news
Small-business optimism is persistently, historically low. A holiday season that serves up robust sales will be good for confidence – something that is essential for business growth and job creation.

7. Sometimes less is more
Let’s be honest – sometimes you’d rather have to choose between a handful of television sets or warm boots instead of a warehouse full of them. Your local retailers have done some of the legwork for you – offering a select inventory aimed at matching what you’re looking for in terms of quality and value.

8. They’ve earned your trust
A Gallup poll earlier this year found that the American people rank small business second only to the U.S. Military when it comes to institutions in which they have confidence.

9. Small business gives back
Research shows that over 90 percent of small-business owners contribute each year to their communities through volunteering, in-kind contributions, and/or direct cash donations. That means your purchase of a good or service at a small business is a great way to “pay it forward.”

10. It’s good to be part of the dream
Small-business owners are the embodiment of the American Dream; supporting  them makes you part of the dream, and that’s a good thing.

Dan Danner is president and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).