Small Business Saturday a time for locals to shine

If you look back on the formation of the towns and cities in the United States, there was really no distinction between “big business” and “small business.”

Business was just business — one person provided goods and services, for which they were compensated by someone else. Whether someone opened a blacksmith shop, a general store, or worked as a carpenter, tailor or milliner, small businesses grew in type and size as our towns grew.

There was always competition, someone somewhere eventually always boasted a better price, better quality, etc… especially as we moved through what’s now known as the industrial age.

In the decades following the U.S. Civil War historians say our country emerged as an industrial giant… assembly lines, sewing machines and the internal combustion engine gave way to a rise in availability of goods at the start of the 20th Century.

Fastforward to now. A time when the doorway to the internet swings wide, and anyone with access to a mobile phone, a computer, online access or a debit or credit card can get a seemingly endless supply of anything they need shipped to them within a week.

The COVID-19 pandemic took a bright yellow highlighter to the availability of goods that can be delivered to our homes.

We would say, although all these conveniences make our lives easier, its important for local small businesses to continue to serve as the backbones of our communities.

Small business Saturday is a modern-day reminder of where we came from. Those places that made goods and services immediately available before the advent of such modern conveniences of the Super Store and online marketplaces.

Gov. Whitmer recently designated today as Small Business Saturday.

She said, in part, “Supporting local small businesses and entrepreneurs creates good-paying jobs and supports more vibrant communities in every region of our state.”

We hope residents in Upper Peninsula communities see the ability to shop small businesses as more of an opportunity than an obligation.

Finding a unique, well-made and thoughtful gift that you will have in-hand in time for Christmas is almost assured if you shop at a small business.

But more than that, it helps to connect people, it makes those places identified by labels such as city, town, township or village something much more.

The practice of ‘shopping small’ can also provide economic sustainability for the whole community.

Every hometown dollar spent at a local small business helps to not only keep those businesses afloat it also gives them an opportunity to thrive.

Local businesses create jobs, donate to local causes, contribute to local property taxes and give a community character.

Small businesses in our communities provide endless ideas for holiday gifts.

But we hope its a habit that continues throughout the year.

Let Small Business Saturday be a reminder of what we can do as residents to sustain the friends and neighbors who make the places that we live such a great place to be.


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