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Why Small Business Saturday Matters

Business owner hugging her children while at work.

A few things come to mind when we think of Thanksgiving. Food. Family. Football. And, for those who love a good deal, shopping. Black Friday and Cyber Monday are the big and enduring mainstays of what’s become the busiest shopping period of the year. But more recently, Small Business Saturday has gained more popularity and provided an alternative to people who want to support small and local. Here are some reasons to support small and local.

You’re Boosting the Economy

Small businesses form the bedrock of the economy. Though they are small, they are mighty. According to the Small Business Bureau, they account for 44% of all business activity in the United States and create two-thirds of jobs. Small businesses drive innovation, and some of the biggest companies in the country now — like Spanx, Apple, and Dell — were once small businesses. Bryant & Stratton College alum and owner of medical uniforms supplier Hollywood Scrubs, Darzje Goode, sees himself following in this legacy, creating his business so that he would have something lasting to pass on to his children. Tyler Stevens, another Bryant & Stratton alum, who co-owns the Ohio-based 216 No Waist Gang with fellow Bobcat D’Andrea Rander, has hopes that her brand — which recently began offering a line of juices, waist beads, and clothing — will become internationally recognized one day. But for now, the former business student is happy using the “foundation of what I learned at Bryant & Stratton College” to help her clients reach their fitness goals. It’s small business owners like Darzje and Tyler who help keep our economy and job market competitive and diverse.

You’re Helping Your Community

When you support a small business, you’re supporting your community. Much of that money circulates in your community; some business owners also donate to local charities. If you want to ensure the economic health of your neighborhood, shopping locally is an easy way to do that. Small businesses also offer pathways and opportunities to members of traditionally disenfranchised communities, including women, BIPOC, and LGBTQ+ people. Out of that can come products that address a need or provide a safe environment for niche demographics, like Bryant & Stratton alumna LaTonnya Freeman’s Curveocity, an online clothing brand dedicated to plus-sized women. She started her business during the pandemic, leaning on her general management degree to help her business grow. As she notes, “Accounting, marketing, and business law are the most important, and the lessons I’ve learned from these courses have proven beneficial for me.” And since small businesses are by definition small, you’re more likely to develop a relationship with the owner and employees, which can have its own rewards. LaTonnya builds goodwill (and return business) by offering special services like local delivery to loyal customers. The result? Dependable delivery and happy customers.

Your Loved Ones Will Enjoy the Unique Gifts

Small businesses are a great place to buy unique and personalized gifts for your loved ones. A playful mug or hand-knitted mittens are things to be cherished forever. That goes for services too! Gift certificates to a salon or spa can be thoughtful gifts for  someone who needs such a service. Why not gift a much-needed spa day to the person in your life who could really benefit? And if that person happens to be yourself, we won’t judge. If you’re in need of a spot and are in the Milwaukee area, try Tranquility Day Spa in Cudahy, WI. Former nursing student and current RN, Christy Maiwald, started the spa when the “opportunity presented itself after I started at Bryant & Stratton.” This self-care advocate is happy to offer a place where she can help people and “change lives.” 

Supporting a small business may not feel like a big deal, but it truly is: to our economy, to your community, and to the business owners themselves — especially the ones who are Bryant & Stratton College alums. So in the end, if you need an extra reason to support small, it’s that you could be supporting a fellow Bobcat!

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