Small biz looks for boost


GONZALES — The corpse of Halloween was barely cold before the holiday ads began their annual avalanche. Retailers have been sure to remind shoppers that Black Friday should as well be renamed Black November, as every waking moment seems to be focused on coming for every available consumer dollar.

Next week's turkey binge will be followed by a monetary purge from citizens who have been witnessed to a barrage of television and online advertising touting the latest and greatest gadgets and baubles that are guaranteed to make one’s life much better. Should we make it past Turkey Day, auto manufacturers will be sure to remind everyone the real reason for the season: a December to Remember Sales Event.

But some organizations wish to remind patrons that small businesses thrive off of small town dollars. And that's why Small Business Saturday is attempting to become the norm, an effort to direct just a few of your dollars to mom-and-pop establishments before your hard-earned dollars are sucked off to the big-box chieftains in the big cities.

Our local chamber of commerce describes Small Business Saturday as an engine of local prosperity. It encourages people across the country to support small, local businesses, which infuses money back into local economies, promotes vibrant and diverse communities, and celebrates the important role of small businesses in the national economy.

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is backing the initiative with a slew of tips on how businesses can promote the day — which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving — and trots out numbers to back it up. It makes sense, since SBA Administrator Linda McMahon has made a career of body slamming the competition and taking on big business authority figures. Numbers on the SBA website say that 67 cents out of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community. And BusinessWire says that small businesses are responsible for $4.8 trillion in gross domestic product (GDP), which is equivalent to the third largest economy in the world.

Additionally, half of every dollar spent at small shops equals more employee spending and more purchasing of local goods and services.

It should be noted that Small Businesses Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express, who no doubt has an interest in getting your unspent dollars. This year the marketing strategy is sponsored by FedEx. Both companies surely have an eye toward whatever dollars haven't been accounted for after Black Friday.