Small Business Saturday – The Smart Alternative

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By Mia Freneaux
"The 2nd annual Small Business Saturday® is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses on one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year. On November 26, we're asking millions of people to shop small at their favorite local stores and help fuel the economy. When we all shop small, it will be huge. " –
Most of the businesses which support the City of Central and the Central Community School System are small businesses.  These businesses are doing their part to help our local economy, but are we?  When looking for opportunities for Christmas gifts, consider shopping our local businesses on November 26.  Many are offering specials on gift cards or gift items.  For instance, on Friday 11/25, Laura’s Fine Jewelry and Ladies’ Boutique will have everything in the store 15% off from 9AM to 6PM, including sale items, plus a free gift with purchases.  American Express is offering a $25 credit to anyone who shops a small business on Saturday using an AmEx card. 
According to (one of the founders of "Small Business Saturday): "As the premier sponsor in the "Shop Small Gift Card" program, FedEx  will give away for free 30,000 Shop-Small American Express gift cards, each worth $25, to consumers through a Facebook promotion leading up to Small Business Saturday on November 26. Ten thousand additional cards will be distributed directly to FedEx customers. The contribution means more money in the cash registers of locally-owned independent businesses.
'A vibrant small business community is critical to the health of the US economy and the cornerstone of the thousands of cities and towns FedEx serves every day,' said T. Michael Glenn, executive vice president of Market Development at FedEx. 'Through this commitment, FedEx is able to help raise awareness for Small Business Saturday as well as put money directly into the pockets of consumers while reminding them to support their local businesses during the holidays.'"
In a separate article on the same site, the following was stated:
"Small businesses are critical to the nation’s overall economy. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the United States last year.  Over the past two decades, they created 65 percent of net new jobs.  Their importance to local communities extends even further.  For every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures, according to the small business advocacy group The 3/50 Project. 
'Small business is the engine of job creation in the US economy,' said Ken Chenault, chairman and chief executive officer, American Express.  'It is also among the sectors hardest hit by the recession.  By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday, we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country at a time when they need support the most.' 
'Small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the glue that holds communities together, and we’ve always sought new ways to support them – something that became even more important when the national economic downturn began,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.'"
It is estimated that 49% in sales tax revenue is lost each year to Central through shopping on the internet and in shopping in areas other than within our city limits.  This affects the services we can offer our citizens and the quality of our schooling, on both of which our city depends to remain strong and grow.  If 100% of sales tax revenue could be kept within Central, it would increase our City's budget by FOUR MILLION dollars and our School System's by SIX MILLION.  It is understandable that sometimes these purchases can be made nowhere else, but the challenge is to find ways to keep our sales tax dollar here where it needs to stay.  Shop Central First!!!!

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