Small businesses make up 99% of all businesses throughout this great land, equating to some 31 million small businesses.
Small local businesses are synonymous with living the American Dream, making one’s own way, and being independent of large corporations.
Every year, this entrepreneurial spirit is honored when the nation collectively celebrates National Small Business Week. This year, the celebration falls from May 1 to 7. This yearly celebration highlights top entrepreneurs from every state for their contributions to economic growth and forward-thinking.
History of National Small Business Week
The Federal Government created the Small Business Administration to counsel small business owners across the land in 1953. Following this, in 1963, President John F. Kennedy created the first-ever National Small Business Week celebration, honoring top small business owners in each state with special recognition and awards. This inaugural celebration became an annual practice since that time.
Support Local Small Businesses and Save Money
Thankfully, you can help commemorate a historic celebration by honoring your own local small businesses during this week, and at the same time save a bit of money. Here’s how…
Buy Handcrafted Items
Handcrafted items are frequently part of local businesses' inventory. This is a great benefit for you as a buyer. After all, when you are buying from the craftsman themselves, there is no middle man and very little markup. This means you can benefit from substantial savings if you are willing to buy something handcrafted instead of mass-produced. It also means you are getting an item that is individual and unlike any other product available. It is usually of much better quality as well.
Ask About Discounts
Going into a big chain store and asking for a discount on an item you want to buy would seem futile. After all, the cashier can’t change the preset cost of any item or change how it scans. This is a price set not in that store but by the corporation itself. Conversely, when you walk into a small business to buy an item, you do have the freedom to ask for a discount or maybe ask for the owner to put together a bundle of items for you at a discount.
This doesn’t mean you will always get the answer you want. Sometimes, they simply have no wiggle room on the item. However, in some cases, such as when a product has been sitting for months, an owner might be willing to negotiate the price just to move the item. Keep in mind, though, that it’s important to ask for discounts respectfully and understand if they are unable to move off their cost. If you are a regular customer, you will be more apt to get discounts as well, as loyalty to small businesses is greatly appreciated.
Buy Local Produce
Aside from clothing or home decor, local businesses can be great resources for local produce. This is because they often buy directly from local farms and then can pass the savings onto you. Not to mention the benefit you get by purchasing the freshest produce imaginable, truly from farm to table. Admittedly, this does mean you will have to buy produce that is in season where you live, instead of tropical fruits in the dead of winter. However, if you can adjust your menu to include what is in season, this can be a great way to help local businesses and save money.
Visit Farmers Markets
Not only will you gain access to local produce as mentioned above, but many artisans set up shop at Farmers Markets as well. Therefore, visiting your local farmers’ market regularly is a great way to save money on virtually any item and to help your local economy thrive simultaneously.
Keep the above tips in mind to support your local small businesses, especially during National Small Business Week. This is the ideal opportunity to give back to your community and save money as well. Happy shopping!