It is perhaps an odd thing that Small Business Saturday is a project of American Express, which is rarely accepted by small businesses and rarely used by most of the 99%. But it is a great idea; as I wrote last year,
Dense, walkable, resilient towns and cities are a key component of getting off oil, and viable main street retail is the key to having vibrant main streets. For historic preservationists concerned about the fabric of our main streets, successful stores are key to maintaining our main street buildings.
From a post on a study in Grand Rapids, Michigan, There Is More To The Local Movement Than Just Food
When West Michigan consumers choose a locally owned business over a non-local alternative, $73 of every $100 spent stays in the community. By contrast, only $43 of every $100 spent at a non-locally owned business remains in the community.
Michael Shuman, author of the Small-Mart Revolution, writes:
Going local does not mean walling off the outside world. It means nurturing locally owned businesses which use local resources sustainably, employ local workers at decent wages and serve primarily local consumers. It means becoming more self-sufficient and less dependent on imports. Control moves from the boardrooms of distant corporations and back into the community where it belongs.
Stephanie Meeks of the National Trust For Historic Preservation, a founding partner in Small Business Saturday, said last year:
When we invest in small businesses, we are investing in Main Streets - the places that give our towns and cities a unique sense of place,” said Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, which includes the National Trust Main Street Center. “By celebrating Small Business Saturday and shopping at independent businesses, everyone can play a part in strengthening our economy and supporting revitalization on our Main Streets.