In the Town of North Hempstead, we are fortunate to have so many small businesses that make up our downtowns and local streets. It is not easy to own and maintain a small business, whether it is a stationery store, restaurant, beauty salon or florist. I am so proud of the strength of our local economy and the amount of locally owned businesses that thrive in our diverse communities. But it’s not news that these local businesses face challenges from big-box stores and Internet sales. We have all changed our shopping habits! But this holiday shopping season and throughout the year, we need to adjust those habits and make an effort to support our local businesses by shopping local.
North Hempstead and the town’s Business and Tourism Development Corporation (BTDC) are proud sponsors of Small Business Saturday, a national initiative which takes place on Nov. 26 and is a joint partnership between Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) and the Small Business Saturday Coalition. This is a national effort to drive consumers to shop at independently owned businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
In 2015, 551 city, county and town officials, myself and the North Hempstead Town Board included, joined together to support Small Business Saturday. As a result, more than 95-million consumers spent a total of $16.2 billion at indepen-dently owned stores and businesses! It is amazing what impact just one day of shopping small and local can do!
While I encourage you to participate and support Small Business Saturday, consider also just
making a few more local choices throughout the entire holiday season this year. I know that during the holidays it is so easy to get overwhelmed with the long list of gifts to buy and preparations that need to be done in order to make it a special and memorable time for you and your family. Even though it can sometimes be easier to run out and grab everything at once at a national retailer or department store, make an effort to shift some of your holiday spending to support your local businesses. Whether this means getting cookies from the local bakery, buying greeting cards and wrapping paper from the nearby stationery store or buying a few holiday gifts at a locally owned boutique, each purchase helps our local businesses in the community flourish and grow. Even the smallest purchases at these local stores can make a big difference.
Small businesses are essential to preserving the unique culture and landscape of our town. Supporting our community by shopping local, even if it is only a few dollars, helps these businesses continue to deliver their exceptional products or services as well as grow and expand, and helps to better our community and strengthen our local economy.
This holiday season, join me in making the pledge to shift 10 percent of your holiday budget to our town’s locally owned businesses. This 10 percent will make a big difference for our local economy, not to mention what a better gift to give this holiday season than to support your neighbors and community.
I hope to see you shopping at our local stores and businesses this winter! For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit www.shopsmall.com.