On Saturday, Nov. 25, Osage celebrated Small Business Saturday – a ‘Black Friday’ event created to celebrate our small business owners.

In 2010, American Express launched the first ever Small Business Saturday campaign after seeing small businesses across the country hurting from an economy in recession.

Back in 2010, the giant competitors were big-box stores whereas now, the giants are big-box online retailers.

The idea caught on, in a big way. It’s evolved into a holiday shopping tradition and movement that continues to grow each year.

This year, they estimate about 2.2 million small businesses engaged in the holiday.

It’s a great feeling to purchase from a small, locally-owned business. If you were to spend $100 locally, about $68 of that will remain in your local economy. If you spend that same $100 at a non-local business, about $57 will leave the local economy.

Why else do we rally shoppers to purchase locally so much? Because those same business owners contribute to our local economy in their business as well through purchasing and donations.

They put money into our schools and fairs and towards other non-profit groups to help better our community.

How much do you think online retailers put into our community? I’d have to guess $0.

If you missed Osage’s own celebration, we enjoyed a visit from Santa and handed out free Shop Small items.

We had about 13 businesses register this year, a record for Small Business Saturday.

Because of American Express sending promotional items each business was able to promote the event at their location.

We plan to hold another even next year and we hope to see an equally great turnout next November.

In the meantime, remember to “shop small” year-round and support your local small businesses, for they’re supporting our communities more than we realize.

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