Support local busnesses: shop "small"

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An Archive gift certificate is perfect for a hard-to-shop-for person. While you pick one up, let Michelle Gifford show you the store's large selection of clothing, decor items and wine.

As one of the busiest shopping weekends of the season approaches, consumers are again asked to “shop small” and support their local community by patronizing small, locally owned businesses.

Small Business Saturday November 30, the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The national initiative began in 2010 with a single effort in Roslindale Village, MA. It has since grown into a massive nationwide movement to support small businesses.  In 2011, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of the day.

According to research gathered after the last holiday season, 108 million people shopped at small businesses between Thanksgiving and Christmas 2017. While that number dipped a bit from previous years, the dollars spent at small shops remained steady. Shoppers  spent more than $15 billion on Shop Small weekend 2017. Awareness of the effort is growing, too. Following Shop Small Saturday 2017, among those who shopped that day, 58 percent said they shopped or dined at more than one independently owned business. The most popular reason for shopping small was to support local community.

It’s hard to say what will happen this year, but industry insiders expect to see an average expenditure of $900 per person on Shop Small Saturday, up from $743 last year.

Locally, the impact of the day is also undeniable. The “shop small” movement contributes to Elkader’s ongoing position as the county’s leader in retail sales among neighboring communities. A retail trade analysis report for fiscal year 2015 shows Elkader out-performing all neighboring communities in per capita retail sales. Edgewood is a distant second followed by Monona, Elgin, Guttenberg, Strawberry Point, Clermont, McGregor, Postville, Garnavillo and Fayette.

Variety is one reason Elkader (and nearby communities) succeed at bringing in new customers and keeping repeat ones—including those who live here—happy. Even during the holiday season when time is limited, you’ll find plenty to choose from as you “shop small."

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