It's that time of year again! Colors have changed, leaves have fallen and as we move deeper into winter I would like to take a minute to discuss this process and its importance to the environment. This process is essential to all life here in the Upper Peninsula and across the world. As leaves change colors and fall to the ground, they decompose releasing essential nutrients into the soil. This gives the soil energy come spring to re-grow flowers, plants, produce food, etc. But what about our communities? How do they gain essential nutrients and energy to grow? Small Business Saturday, this weekend, Nov. 30, is one answer to that question!
Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us to give strength and energy to our communities. While Black Friday typically offers a big boost to large retailers, Small Business Saturday encourages us to shop our favorite locally owned business and infuse strength to the very businesses that support our communities. By participating this Saturday our dollars act as essential nutrients our communities need to grow. Small Businesses are the heartbeat that give our communities life. They impact how each and every one of us lives and they are essential to the sustainability of our economy. According to an American Booksellers Association Impact Study, when you shop at independent, locally owned businesses, 52 percent of what you spend stays right in your community, supporting local organizations and services.
The fourth annual Small Business Saturday movement creator American Express OPEN and other advocacy groups encourage you to "Shop Small" at your favorite local stores and help fuel economies. To learn more about the movement and how to get involved, visit shopsmall.com or visit their facebook page at facebook.com/SmallBusinessSaturday. This movement is growing and it's time to get involved. In 2012, American Express estimated consumer spending of $5.5 billion on Small Business Saturday. If you're a small business owner and looking for helpful marketing tips this holiday season, the Small Business Association (SBA) has provided several links for you to check out at sba.com.
Thanksgiving is all about honoring the people, places and things we are most thankful for. We all have things we are thankful for as individuals, such as family and friends. But how do we give thanks for community? Is it the excellent schools, safe neighborhoods, beautiful wilderness or simply the hardworking and supportive people? Whatever it is, let's give thanks and do whatever possible to support our communities, not just this weekend but moving forward.
As the CEO, of the Lake Superior Community Partnership I understand the importance of economic growth and what it takes to sustain the kind of community we are part of. By reinvesting our dollars locally, we strengthen the communities in which we live and love. In turn, this investment helps the neighborhoods, cities and townships of Marquette County thrive.
Editor's note: Amy Clickner is CEO?of the Lake Superior Community Partnership. Her twice-monthly column will address topics of interest to the local business community.