Last year a movement to support small businesses attempted to get the word out that in the after-Thanksgiving-shopping-madness we should not forget our favorite small stores. They marketed “Small Business Saturday” to encourage shoppers – once they had spent most of their budgets on Black Friday at the big retailers – to consider spending the few dollars they might have left on Saturday in small businesses. A great idea… though most people have not received the message. (To learn more about it visit: www.smallbusinesssaturday.com.)
This month’s wired magazine features an article titled, “Why Thou Shalt Shop” by James Livingston, encouraging Americans to open their wallets and get to spending! The crux of the story is that while we feel like we should shop less in the face of these difficult economic times (even those of us that have money to spare), what we really need to do is shop more – but point our money toward our causes. Consumers drive real change in our country, so if you want to see greener living, healthier eating, or increased American manufacturing, then get out there and buy hybrid cars, locally grown organic produce, and products made in America.
So, as Small Business Saturday approaches, I can’t help but ask: Why not Friday?
Yes, yes, I know it’s a long standing tradition that Black Friday means arriving at Walmart at 3AM to stand in line for that new big name gaming system, or pushing and shoving each other outside the entrance of Macy’s to make sure we will get to that shoe sale first, even if Grandma is trampled in the process! After all, it’s the American way!
But, this year more than ever, we need to put our money where our values are.
I recently spoke for the Urban Entrepreneurs Network in Vancouver and had the chance to meet some phenomenal Evolutionary leaders, dreamers, and hard-working Americans that are driving new business opportunities in their communities. Their ideas are sound, and they have the right motives – a desire to create businesses that not only create jobs, but strengthen community. They need your support to succeed. It’s time we all step up and invest in a healthy future. So this holiday season – get out there and shop! Knock yourself out! But shop local. And buy American. That’s Evolutionary!