By Anna-Marie Menhenott
ST. LUCIE COUNTY -- Most shoppers are scouring sales papers searching for the best deals taking place on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. However, to keep money in the local economy and to help locally owned shops boost holiday sales, on Nov. 30, residents are invited to Small Business Saturday, a day to support businesses that create jobs and boost economies in our own backyard.
The Small Business Saturday movement encourages the community to "shop small" the day after most shoppers spend hours fighting crowds in larger department stores.
Now in its fourth year, millions of consumers around the country are expected to shop on Small Business Saturday this year.
"The idea behind this national movement is to teach how smart it is to shop local," said Doris TIlman, Main Street Fort Pierce manager. "When a consumer buys from a locally owned business, 52 percent of what is spent remains in the local economy."
Shoppers searching for the perfect gift can find anything they desire at many of the small businesses located throughout the area. There is a high concentration of small businesses in downtown Fort Pierce; however, Port St. Lucie also has many Mom and Pop shops that offer most things on those lengthy Christmas lists.
Spas, hair and nail salons, tattoo shops and restaurants are just a few of the locally-owned shops that offer gift certificates. The convenience of gift certificates takes some of the painstaking "what if" questions out of buying.
Many of the little quaint stores offer things that aren't found in larger department stores. Unique gift ideas are abound in many of the little shops that sometimes get looked over during the hustle and bustle of the holidays.
"Being aware of small businesses all through the year is very important," said Ms. Tilman. "But now, during the holidays, making sure that the money being spent on lavish gifts is kept in the community is very important. It makes sure that everyone not only has a happy holiday, but it sustains the local economy year-round.
For a list of locally owned businesses, visit your local Chamber of Commerce website.