Shop local retailers to support Small Business Saturday

It’s time to shop local for Small Business Saturday.

This annual day, set after Thanksgiving and Black Friday, promotes the idea of supporting smaller, more specialized shops and stores in the community rather than more massive national retailers.

Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express as a way for specialty shops to better compete with big-box and online retailers. “Shopping small” encourages spending at businesses close to home to help boost local economies.

During the COVID pandemic, people turned to purchasing online, and the habit has lingered. But local businesses rely on securing a share of the holiday spending.

“Small businesses are economic engines. They create two-thirds of net new jobs, and in Michigan 537,058 small businesses employ 1.2 million people,” the U.S. Small Business Administration, a co-sponsor of Small Business Saturday, stated in a news release. “The day advances equity by leveling the field so that small businesses capture a larger piece of the holiday season consumer spending by getting more customers through their doors.”

For Small Business Saturday, many of these stores will provide special deals or discounts, a prime opportunity to get some holiday shopping done early without having to spend time on the computer or on the road.

The day hopefully motivates the public as well to become more familiar with what their area shops have to offer. Downtown Iron Mountain, for example, has added a number of new businesses in the past few years.

The SBA also advises not to forget local restaurants in spending at small businesses.

Yet one lone Saturday to highlight small retailers is not enough. If these local businesses are to thrive, residents must be regular customers or they’ll see these options disappear.

So take the opportunity Saturday to explore some of the small businesses of Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Norway or Crystal Falls, rather than taking dollars out of town and burning gasoline with trips to Wisconsin cities.

We all should “shop local first” to support businesses in the region that make services and products immediately available, without having to wait days for delivery.

It’s not just for convenience — strong local businesses make for a more vital community.

So let’s hope Small Business Saturday keys more people to become more aware of what’s available and worth purchasing in their own area.


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