As a former regular Black Friday shopper, I can certainly understand the thrill and adrenaline rush that comes from the seemingly great deals and early morning hours. However, there’s a whole other set of feelings and rewards that come from shopping small!

When you shop small, you’re not just supporting small business, you’re boosting our local economy, supporting local jobs, and you’re keeping our unique local businesses in business. It’s safe to say that in a year like 2021, supporting small businesses means more this year than ever before. Our local businesses need you. And believe It or not, you need them, too.

According to the Small Business Administration, the 32.5 million small businesses in America account for 62% of all net new jobs created in the U.S. since 1995 and contribute about 32% of all manufactured U.S. exports, with 285,334 small business exports in 2018 alone. Additionally, small businesses employee 62.1 million – that’s 46.8% of all U.S. employees! Between March 2019 and March 2020, in Tennessee alone, 15,941 establishments opened. We can’t forget our franchised friends either! The SBA reports that the 500,000 plus franchised small businesses account for 40% of all retail sales and provide jobs for over 9.6 million people.

These statistics were, of course, unstable across the country in 2020, with a loss of over 15 million jobs in the second quarter. Over 8.6 million of those were small business job losses.

In 2010, Small Business Saturday was officially named and began to be recognized as the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Falling in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the day allows for our small, but impactful, local businesses to have a day of their own. Mark your calendars and plan to shop small in Gallatin on Saturday, Nov. 27.

The reasons to shop local are endless, but I’ve narrowed it down to three than can easily be considered and remembered this holiday season!

1. More Tax Dollars Stay Local

When you shop small, you can rest assured knowing that more of your money spent at a small, local business is staying and being put back into our local economy.

2. Unique Products

Small businesses often carry locally sourced or crafted, unique, and niche items. What’s more memorable than a one-of-a-kind gift?

3. Small Businesses Create a Sense of Community

It’s often said that small businesses are the backbone of a community and I believe that stands true for Gallatin. They give back more locally, they develop deep, personal relationships with their consumers, and they ultimately give our community the charm that makes us who we are.

This holiday season and beyond, I hope you choose to shop small and shop Gallatin for everything on your list. Once you’ve done so, tell others! Share on social media, show off your purchases, let the world know that Gallatin’s got it. If you need suggestions for where to start, your local Chamber is always here to help! Give us a call at 615-452-5000, visit us online at or in person at 118 West Main Street, Gallatin. Shop Local this holiday season – and always!

Kim Baker is the CEO of the Gallatin Area Chamber of Commerce.

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