Shop at Home this Holiday Season

Thursday, November 28, 2013
Melanie Haywood and Beth Copeland display some of the goods available at Honeysuckle& Home in Rector. Holiday shoppers are encouraged to visit local merchants when searching for those special gifts.

The Thanksgiving weekend has become one of the biggest shopping periods in America, with many people seeking to secure great deals on the items which make up their holiday shopping lists. Black Friday, the sales day immediately following Thanksgiving, and Cyber Monday, the online shopping equivalent on the following Monday, have become critical sales days for retailers and businesses throughout the world.

Another, as vital, day exists during the same weekend period, though, often overlooked by the larger and more marketed sales days. Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, has become a "shopping holiday" designed to feature smaller, local businesses during the hunt for holiday gifts.

Small Business Saturday was conceived and publicized by American Express in 2010 as a way to promote and support businesses at the local level.

The effort has been embraced by small businesses and communities throughout the country. Shopping locally, especially in communities like Rector and Piggott, has many advantages.

When buying from a local merchant, a shopper is more than likely dealing with someone they know. This leads to a greater amount of trust between buyer and seller, and in the unfortunate event of an item being defective or the wrong size, makes future interactions easier.

Also, supporting local businesses helps keep those merchants active within the community. More often than not, the small town businesses do the bulk of their sales with local shoppers. If these local shoppers go elsewhere for their goods it becomes more difficult for merchants to operate their stores. If the community in which a small business operates will not support said business, the merchant will be forced to consider moving or even closing their shop. Having fewer businesses within a community often hurts all businesses within a community in some degree, as the total number of patrons visiting the area typically will drop. New businesses can attract new customers for pre-existing businesses in the area, while the loss of a shop may also lead to the loss of shared customers for the surviving businesses.

In many cases, similar items to those found in larger stores are available at competitive prices in local shops. Patrons of local stores not only support the small business owner with their purchases, but also support local governments and schools through the various sales taxes. The more money spent within the community, the more revenue generated for the benefit of the community.

"We strongly encourage everyone to look to our local businesses this holiday," Rector Mayor David Freeman said. "They do an awful lot to support our community and it's important we continue to support them in return."

Leaders and business owners in Piggott and Rector remind shoppers to "look at home" before venturing off for their gifts this holiday season. The perfect gift may be closer than one thinks.

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