Shop at home!

Published 10:00 am Friday, November 23, 2012

Perhaps it’s not as well-known as Black Friday, but it is a day where mom and pop retail outlets across the nation receive their opportunity to court customers.

Small Business Saturday is slated for Nov. 24 – a day set aside to support these mainstream businesses that do their share to invigorate the local economy and keep communities thriving.

As it has been noted time and time again, small business provides the heartbeat of the American economy.

“We are the backbone; we’re the ones who give the personal touch, the personal service,” said Wayne Massey, who for the past five years has owned and operated Flowers by Wayne located in downtown Jackson.

Massey also stated another solid reason for keeping shopping dollars at home.

“It pays to shop locally because the money that’s spent here stays here,” he noted. “Part of the tax money spent here comes back here.

“Personally, I make it a point to shop locally and would encourage everyone to do the same, whether it’s at my business or another independently owned store,” Massey added.

Jamie Johnson, owner of the independently operated Ace Home Center of Ahoskie and Murfreesboro, said shopping close to home fuels the local economy.

“I would encourage our local citizens to give the local businesses here in our area the first chance to fill their shopping needs,” Johnson stressed. “People have the tendency to shop out of town first. I say give your local merchants the first opportunity. If you don’t like the selection or the price, then go look for a business that can fill your shopping list and meets the price you have in mind. However, if you give the local merchants the first chance, you may be in for a surprise that we can match selection and price.”

Echoing Massey’s thoughts, Johnson said that by shopping locally is a win-win situation as it allows for a stronger local economy.

“Our tax base would be stronger and local merchants, myself included, would be able to hire additional employees from our local area,” he stated. “Plus you save time and gas by shopping at home.”

Johnson was quick to point out the retail advantages found locally at what he termed as “specialty stores.”

“Take a look at the good folks that operated local businesses such as Eddie Harrell’s (Auto & Sports), Hall Auto over in Murfreesboro, Basnights, Home & Garden Shop, Ahoskie Florist & Gifts, Mizelle’s Discount Drug, Southern Interiors, Expressions by Tim & Lorrie, just to name a few….if they don’t have what you’re looking for, then just ask for it to be ordered and ask for a competitive price,” he said. “They will go out of their way to accommodate your needs.

“Small, local businesses makes special orders easier than any big box retailer,” Johnson continued. “It’s our nature to show our personal touch. Just give us the opportunity to show what we have and have it at a competitive price. We can help anyone with products they are now buying out of town.”

Another popular form of shopping is online. While it is convenient, stop and ask yourself…..who gets the credit for making the sale? Consider placing that order through a Roanoke-Chowan area merchant and have the merchandise shipped to the local business. As is so often the case, they can have it sent immediately.

American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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