Turkey, Family, Football & Shop Small

It may not be a surprise, but my favorite day in November is Thanksgiving. Where family and friends gather to give thanks for the blessings they have been given over the past year. We eat too much food, have good conversation and of course, watch football.

For some, Black Friday is their next favorite day. Big sales, crazy lines and 12 cups of coffee.small-business-saturday-2016

Small Business Saturday is my second favorite. Small Business Saturday is a day devoted to supporting our local small town businesses. What I love about this day is that it gives our small businesses a chance to really show who they are and why they are in business. In today’s mobile based world, big business tends to overshadow small businesses. They have more selection, lower prices and terrible customer service. The thing is, you can find pretty much everything you need at a local small business. You may not even know that the business exists because Siri didn’t find it for you.

You may have heard the expression, “When you buy from a local business you’re not helping a fat cat CEO purchase his third vacation home. You’re helping your neighbor or friend pay bills, put food on their table and make that donation to your school’s arts program.” I love this quote because it’s true. Small business owners are a unique kind of individual. The emotional rollercoaster they go through on a daily basis is something you can only really experience first hand.

Three ThingsShop Small

I’d like to challenge you to go out and and shop at local small businesses first, then go to the big box store. Three things that may surprise you are:

  1. There are A LOT of small businesses in your area.
  2. They carry many of the products you need and are fairly priced.
  3. In most cases, the owner of the business will be in the store! The majority will take the time to welcome you because they rely on customer service, unlike big box stores.

We have all seen the stories about local businesses closing and small towns becoming almost vacant. Many will find something to blame, like the economy, but truly it is 100% preventable. If we come together to support one another, our communities will thrive. When you get to know the business owners and what they give back to their communities, you won’t want to spend your money anywhere else. As we build up our small businesses, new ones will start to pop up and jobs will be created. Our small downtowns will start seeing more foot traffic, word of mouth and social media will help spread the word, and suddenly you’ll find yourself shopping in these small stores versus the big box stores.smiling-woman-standing-outside-flower-shop

Make the Commitment

But none of this can happen unless each of us personally takes responsibility and makes the decision that we are going to shop small and build community. Instead of going to the big name auto store, find a local one. Get your taxes filed by a box store tax service, go to a local accountant. Buy that gift card for the chain restaurant, get one from a local eatery. There are so many opportunities that we commonly overlook.

Help spread the word. Get on social media, connect with local small businesses and give them a chance. You and the community will benefit from it.

A little bit about Scott Cunningham

Scott started Visual Element Media while still in college in 2008. He moved his company to Pittsburgh in 2009 where he found that small businesses were at a major disadvantage when it came to digital marketing. Scott wanted to provide small businesses with the opportunity to use video, social media and professional web design, but on a small business budget. In 2015, Scott moved his family back to his hometown of Ebensburg to continue working with small businesses. Visual Element Media now provides video, social media and web design services in Altoona, Johnstown, State College, Bedford, Somerset and everywhere in between!

You can contact Scott and his team at:

814 | 935 | 8037 or office@visualelementmedia.com