Black Friday isn’t what it used to be. Stores now open on Thursday evenings. Employees at big box stores and other chain retailers work ridiculous hours as brick-and-mortar retailers do their best to squeeze every dollar they can out of the opening of the holiday shopping season.
Holiday retail is more important than ever to these stores, especially with Cyber Monday — where everyone goes to Amazon and wonders where the supposed “deals” are — just around the corner. Of course, brick-and-mortar locations have already lost so much during the rest of the fiscal year to online shopping.
Not so long ago, economists were predicting that Thanksgiving would become just another business day for a lot of American workers in retail and other industries. It still could head in that direction, although it seems many businesses, even the online giants like Amazon, are recalculating when and how they offer their best bargains.
From employees to companies to the shoppers themselves, a lot rides on this weekend. But one thing shoppers shouldn’t forget is to shop local where they can.
“Small Business Saturday” follows Black Friday, and it’s a good opportunity for shoppers to check out businesses they might not normally consider — or even know about — in their local community.
Small businesses do a lot to drive the economy, but, especially in retail, they’re under a lot of pressure to survive. They were contending with the Walmarts and Best Buys of the world long before online retail was even a thing.
Simply put, dollars spent locally stay local, and there’s no better thing for a community’s economy than investing in itself. If you’re out shopping Saturday (or any other time, for that matter), wherever you may be, take the time to visit some of your local businesses. The business owners will appreciate it, and no one will shove you to the ground grabbing for a door-buster TV.