Small business owners and community leaders encourage people to shop small

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) -During the busiest shopping season of the year community leaders and small business owners want people to save some money on Black Friday to spend on Shop Small Business Saturday.

The Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce is kicking off Shop Small Business Saturday almost two weeks early to make sure people include small businesses in their holiday shopping plans.

At 2:00 pm on Tuesday, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle will talk about Small Business Saturday at a press conference at Rooster’s Crow Coffee Roastery off Whitesburg in Huntsville.

“Not only on November 30th, we should be doing that at all times, shopping small, shopping local," said Pammie Jimmar, the Vice President of Small Business and Events of Huntsville/Madison County Chamber of Commerce. “We help our economy, we grow our economy.”

Jimmar said when people spend money on small businesses in Madison County there is a much greater effect on the local economy than if people spend the same amount of money on larger outlets.

For example, Jimmar said if a customer spends $100 at a small business, $68 goes back into the community. One the other hand, if a customer spends $100 at a larger outlet, only $43 goes back into the community.

“If you want to support the infrastructure and community in your own town and your own neighbors you need to be shopping local, because our sales tax dollars that we submit are going toward improving our community, our schools, our roads,” said Jean Bryan, co-owner of Inspired.

Bryan said small business owners already face an uphill challenge with customers who love to shop online.

“You’re fighting the giants like amazon and you’re fighting a mindset as well,” Bryan said. “We have a large community here who is very tech savvy and it’s very easy for them to just punch a button.”

Jimmar said the shopping with a small business also provides a unique experience.

“Go by that boutique or go by that specialty shop, the gifts are so beautiful and unique and you get that personalized shopping experience," she said.

Last year during Shop Small Business Saturday, 108 million consumers shopped or dined local and that generated 12 billion dollars in spending across the nation, according to Jimmar.

To find out what businesses are participating you can check out the link on American Express’s website.

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