November 21, 2014
Shop local. Support local. Give local.
‘Tis the season for gathering with family and friends; the season to eat traditional, comfort foods; to indulge your sweet tooth; and to remember those special to you with gifts, trinkets and creating new memories. It is also the season to be thankful. This Thursday marks the 393rd anniversary since the first Thanksgiving celebration, way back in 1621 with the Native Americans and Pilgrims.
It’s comforting to know such a gathering still takes place today in millions of households on the fourth Thursday of every November. But it seems that nowadays you’ve barely touched the pumpkin pie before everyone’s rushing out the door to make the most of the “Door Busters” of Black Friday shopping deals. The Black Friday frenzy is no longer limited to the fourth Friday of every November. It has been creeping earlier and earlier and is no longer uncommon for big retail stores to open on Thanksgiving Day. (We can save that debate for another blog!) In fact, I just received an ad booklet for a retailer starting their “Blowout” sales on Wednesday. What?!? I guess it’s just a matter of time before the Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving is given it’s own special “cheeky” name.
As technology has infiltrated most aspects of our lives, Cyber Monday has continued to increase sales for businesses and presents a healthy challenge to consumer sales on Black Friday. In case you’re not familiar with Cyber Monday, it refers to the Monday after Thanksgiving when the amazing, on-line sales and one-day deals rival the best of what occurred in the brick and mortar stores a few days prior. The on-line traffic can be so intense that it has presented challenges and slow-downs for those who were just having a regular day at the office.
Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is a movement called Small Business Saturday®. Begun in 2010 as a response to the economic down turn of 2008, American Express created the concept of celebrating the small brick and mortar businesses across the country in order to elevate their visibility and not get lost in the shuffle of the Black Friday and Cyber Monday hoopla. And each year since, more and more small businesses are getting on board to promote, support and shop your local neighborhood businesses. American Express has an added bonus for their cardholders––learn more here: https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/
Shop local. Support local. Gift local. Personally, I have worked in the small business sector my entire working life, since my first job delivering newspapers when I was 14. That led me to working at a local sandwich shop, a record store (remember those??), a community art center, a “mom and pop” art supply store and, for the past six years, at my neighborhood garden center. I even went to college locally at Temple and Tyler School of Art. (Believe it or not, I do travel!) But what is it about working at a small business that I like best? It’s the sense of community. Community with your co-workers, involvement with the community in which the business is located…And working local to where I live gives me a sense of an extended community…and family. No one knows you better than family. As a small business, the Garden Center’s dedicated, passionate staff is a “second” family to many and a place you can shop where we more often than not, actually know your name. Our mission is to find the products you want most that are of the highest quality, on-trend and budget friendly. This year, Saturday, November 29 is Small Business Saturday. Shop all of your favorite small businesses (including us!) and discover some new ones, too. And gift local. This holiday season, give as many gifts as you can from local mom and pop stores. Your support of these businesses is paramount to the success of your community. Money generated by your local dry cleaner, clothing boutique, bagel shop and garden center go right back into their communities by way of taxes, better roads and parks and more.
Being a team member of a small, local business provides a rewarding sense of camaraderie, community and culture that many larger businesses and corporations can lack. Truth be told, I’d happily share my Thanksgiving dinner table with the amazing group of men and women I call my “second” family.
This Thanksgiving, enjoy your family and friends and life-long traditions. Then join us this weekend to see some old friends or simply make some new ones. Today and every day, we thank you for your support.
Adriene Vesci | Graphic Designer & Advertising Coordinator