show some love to small business this holiday season

I love Thanksgiving for the food and for getting together with friends. For shopping? Not so much. In fact, I don't think I've ever gone shopping on Black Friday. Ever. I hate crowds, to the point where I get a bit claustrophobic, and there's no bargain (in my opinion) that's worth standing in line for an hour or more. I usually plan a nice day at home and try not to go out at all.

However, I will go out in support of Small Business Saturday tomorrow. So what is this all about? Small Business Saturday was started three years ago by American Express to make consumers aware of how important it is to shop at and support small businesses in your local community.

As a consumer you play a key role in helping small businesses to survive. When you shop or dine at a small business or local restaurant you're helping to keep 68% of each dollar you spend in your own community. Small businesses provide jobs, pay local taxes, and help your community to thrive. They also offer unique merchandise that you can't find at the big-box stores and personal service (also hard to find at large chains, especially on Black Friday). Visit www.shopsmall.com to learn about ways you can participate.

Another way to support small business is to shop their websites on Cyber Monday. The big stores will have deals, of course, but so will most of the small ones. Start with mine. If you visit Primrose Design on Monday, November 25th, use discount code MONDAY and get 25% off your order total.

And, if you're out and about this Sunday, don't forget the Buy Local Holiday Marketplace at the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple on Washington Avenue from 11-4. At last count there were 50 vendors and there will be free gift wrapping for your purchases courtesy of ScrantonMade.

Buy Local Holiday Marketplace poster

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