Today was Small Business Saturday, a new event sponsored by American Express to boost the sales of small, local merchants. To encourage participation, AMEX gave $25 credit to 100,000 card holders who signed up with the company and participated and $100 worth of free advertising on Facebook to 10,000 participating small business owners.
Why support local merchants? According to Civics Economics, an Austin based consulting firm, when a customer buys locally at a small business, 68 cents of every dollar spent stays in the community. However, when the customer buys from a large retail chain, only 46 cents of every dollar stays in the community. Even more striking, the consulting firm reported that on-line shopping from a retailer outside one's zip code gives the community none of the profit.
So how about you? Did you support Small Business Saturday today? Why? Or why not?