Ramping up holiday spending? Alabama businesses urge buyers to ‘shop local’
The most wonderful time of the year has arrived, and may Alabama shoppers are gearing up to spend big this holiday season. For Alabamians who have a Christmas list they need to cross off, the National Federation of Independent Businesses and the Alabama Retail Association are encouraging a local approach to this year’s purchasing plan.
“Small Business Saturday” falls on the day after Black Friday. It’s the second busiest shopping day of the year, and provides an extra opportunity for buyers to support locally-owned businesses. While online sales continue to steadily increase over brick-and-mortar stores, experts say locally-spent dollars could have a larger impact on the community.
The Alabama Retail Association says that local retail and restaurant establishments represent one in four jobs in the state, and contributes $19 billion to the economy.
“Spending your money with Alabama retailers creates a powerful ripple effect and returns the most to your local economy,” the Association said in a statement. “By shopping locally, you’re supporting your friends and neighbors – the ones who sponsor your Little League teams, donate to your fundraisers and reinvest their time and money into your community.”
Governor Robert Bentley, who made “Small Business Saturday” official by signing a declaration on Monday, encouraged shoppers to spend their holiday dollars with Alabama-owned businesses.
“Small Business Saturday is a great opportunity for Alabamians to support local businesses on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving,” Gov. Bentley said. “Small businesses are the engines of job growth and a vital part of a stimulated economy. By recognizing Small Business Saturday, we can choose to support the small businesses that contribute to our economy and our communities. As we begin the holiday shopping season, I encourage Alabamians to shop at local small businesses throughout Alabama.”