Holiday shopping has begun and I have yet to buy presents for my wife and family. Luckily, my wife and family understand that purchasing gifts is not one of my strong suits. I prefer experiences and giving of my time.

I enjoy small experiences because it not only strengthens a relationship, but it also impacts others around me. For instance, taking my wife on a date to a local miniature golf course and then to a local Chinese restaurant that offers gluten-free options is more memorable than a gift. It is more memorable than a gift for two reasons:

  1. My wife and I are both very competitive at miniature golf. Needless to say, she accepts loss while I justify my losses for a day or two.
  2. My wife is gluten-free and has been wanting to eat at this Chinese restaurant for some time. We loved our experience and will be going back often.

Experiences to me are memorable and important. However, experiences are also impactful to those around me. For instance, both the miniature golf course and Chinese restaurant are owned and operated by local families. These families rely on the community to survive day-to-day.

As we approach this Holiday Season, remember the small businesses that operate in your community. This upcoming Saturday presents a fantastic opportunity to shop local. Small businesses from across the country have rolled out enticing sales to promote Small Business Saturday this year.

According to the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, produced by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business, approximately 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion on Small Business Saturday. This figure is amazing. Granted it does not compare to Black Friday or Cyber Monday, but think of the impact on your community.

Since American Express introduced the idea of Small Business Saturday in 2010, the campaign has given increased exposure to small businesses and has changed the ways in which consumers shop within their own community during the Holiday Season. American Express has been assisting the U.S. Small Business Association (SBA) in achieving its goal of expanding and creating jobs for small businesses. By shopping local, you also help in the mission of the SBA.

This Saturday, each of us can play a part to support jobs and economic growth in our community. Visit your Main Street merchants or visit them online. Do your part and support your community this Saturday. Shop small, dine small and create impactful change.