Saturday, Nov. 26, is dedicated to Wharton. And every other small community across the nation. It’s Shop Small Saturday.

American Express started Shop Small Saturday in 2010 to launch the Christmas shopping season across the nation. It’s always the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

Shop Small Saturday is for towns about our size. Everyone else can have Black Friday.

The benefits of shopping locally are well documented. It’s not urging local shopping out of obligation. It’s because it can be a good deal for the consumer. And it’s a two-for: it’s good for the town too.

Lots has been written about shopping locally, but here is a summary of the Top Ten that I’ve read from a variety of sources.

  1. No waiting. You’ll see shorter lines when shopping locally. That means more time for you.
  2. 2. Job Creation. Small businesses are the largest employers across the nation. The majority of new jobs are also created by small businesses.
  3. Businesses are shoppers, too. The folks who own, manage and staff a small business are shoppers themselves, which helps support the local economy and can simplify logistics.


  1. 4. Local businesses are owned by people who invest in the community. They support local charities and community organizations. Shopping elsewhere means that support goes elsewhere.

  1. 5.Customer Service.Shopping locally means buying from people you know. You can get better care.
  2. A focus on you. Local businesses people likely will go the extra mile for you, from custom orders to taking the time to understand your needs.
  3. Unique. Local businesses reflect our unique community, with stuff that might not be seen elsewhere.
  4. Taxes. Taxes paid by small, local businesses support schools, parks, roads, and other local amenities.

  1. Synergy. Local businesses can support each other, work together to build up neighborhoods and combat blight and economic stress. It helps create a sense of community.

  1. Product Knowledge. Local business owners are well informed about their products and know what they are selling, and that is a help to you.