Friday, November 23, 2012

Shop Small Business Saturday

Many of you are aware of the "shop local" movement, but some of you may not be aware that tomorrow is "Shop Small Business Saturday"!  People all over America are joining together to support their local small businesses.  As I was thinking about tomorrow, I just wanted to give a shout out to a few of the wonderful small businesses in Potlatch.  Gallery 255, is a fantastic little shop, full of amazing art and wonderful jewelry.  Hatter Creek Treasures And More is full of antiques, gifts, collectables, and just plain fun stuff!  Even if antiques aren't really your thing , you might just find the perfect book or movie to help pass the long winter evenings.  There is of course Northwest Pharmacy, where they work so hard to keep prescription prices low, and also have lots of great gift items.  Crazy For Quilting, the new shop in town has fabric, patterns, and other fun items sure to delight sewers of all ages!  Fiddlers ridge always provides fantastic healthy plants, and great gardening advice and Junction Lumber works very hard to keep prices low, and serve the community in any way they can.  Of course I know I am overlooking many great places in town, but my point is, there are so many local places that need your support, and Shop Small Business Saturday is a great day to get out and show them you appreciate them being in our town!
When thinking about supporting local businesses, it is important to remember that a little goes a long way.  What I mean by this is the "all or nothing" type of thinking is very prevalent in small towns, and it is something that as a business owner, I would like to actively challenge.  It is easy to feel that in order to support your local businesses, you need to do all your shopping there.  For example, buy all your Christmas gifts, all your plants, all your lumber, etc., but sometimes your budget may prevent that. So the easy thing to do, is just take your business into a larger city and do all your shopping there, justifying it by "Our tight budget just won't let us shop locally."  I am not naive, I understand many times smaller businesses have higher prices that larger box stores.  But the truth is, if everyone in the community and surrounding area spent a relatively small amount in local shops each month, in many cases it would be more than enough to keep the local shops in business.  For example, in the area from Viola to Tensed, Potlatch to Palouse, and Princeton to Harvard, there are easily 3,000 people, including all the rural areas in between.  If each of those people, spent $5 a month, at any local shop, thats $15,000 a month, which is more than enough to keep most small businesses going and growing.  I know that the picture I have painted is a bit simplistic, but the principle is very true, and often forgotten.  What small businesses need is not necessarily big spenders, it is MORE spenders.  And if everyone pitches in and supports the little guy, they will thrive, and that helps our communities thrive.  For you it may look like picking up a bouquet of flowers for your Grandma, or buying coffee locally instead of at Starbucks.  Maybe it's something as small as buying band-aids at the pharmacy, or a card from Gallery 255, but those small things are what keep us going.  It does not have to break the bank, or ruin your budget to shop local.  So promote your local businesses!  Tell your friends about your favorite local spots, post local sales or events on Facebook and twitter.  Be proactive.  We appreciate it so much!  We couldn't survive without your help!

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