Thanksgiving is a time to connect with loved ones, enjoy a meal and express thanks for our many blessings. And for many, it marks the Last Supper before weeks of bustling traffic and relentless shopping.
We remind our readers, as they prepare their shopping lists, of the monumental importance of patronizing local businesses.
Mom-and-pop stores are the backbone of our local economy. Without them, our community would be diminished.
Vacant storefronts are all too familiar along the North Shore. These blights are not only eyesores but a reflection of recent disruption and struggle for our commercial sectors.
E-commerce continues to precipitously harm local downtowns, siphoning away customers and setting unsustainable market rates for smaller vendors who lack the bulk purchasing power to compete.
COVID-19 lockdowns further accelerated the decline of small businesses. In many cases, Amazon and a few other prominent web retailers were the only options available for consumers.
Local mom and pops are struggling to stay afloat today. But crucially, they depend upon our patronage. And we depend upon their survival.
Unlike the conglomerates, small business owners create jobs and pay taxes within our community. When we support them, the dollars we spend stay here, recirculating back into our local economy instead of shipping off to some distant corporate headquarters.
And aren’t we all tired of seeing these massive megastores and online retailers cornering the market, consolidating more power and desecrating our downtowns?
On Long Island and across America, the predatory and monopolistic practices of Big Business are forcing smaller retailers to shutter. And rather than resisting this stranglehold on our local markets, we willingly participate in the game, prostrating ourselves at the altar of sweet deals and unbeatable prices.
In the Faustian bargains of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we trade away the soul of our community for a 20% discount. In failing to patronize local businesses, we complicitly enable the decline of our commercial districts and are accountable for the potential loss of our community as we know it.
Through our dollars, we can speak truth to entrenched power and wealth. We can shop locally despite the hot deals elsewhere. We can choose to invigorate our small businesses, knowing that if we don’t, no one else will.
This Saturday, Nov. 25, marks the 13th annual National Small Business Saturday. We ask our readers to come out in force, prioritizing the local storefronts in our community. And then, we must continue supporting them for the remainder of the season and throughout the year.
Our actions will determine the face of our area, so let’s all do our part — because when we shop small, we are all enriched.