Today is Small Business Saturday, a promotion by American Express designed to get more people spending money at locally owned, independent merchants.
I did my part, buying several seasonal items and new dog beds from a local merchant. As part of their promotion, AMEX was kind enough to subsidize my purchases with a $25 credit.
Small Business Saturday is a buy local promotion. As John Tozzi's Business Week article on Small Business Saturday points out, buy local campaigns are gaining momentum. Key quote from the article:
"Grassroots networks like the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies have promoted local shopping around the holidays since the early 2000s. "We welcome folks jumping on the bandwagon with that message," says Jeff Milchen, co-founder of AMIBA, based in Bozeman, Mont. "This year the localization movement reached somewhat of a tipping point where we started seeing a lot more energy going in that direction."
The key driver of the buy local trend is the view is that money that is spent locally, stays local. According to an AMEX executive, "... every $100 spent in locally-owned, independent stores, $68 returns to the community through taxes, payroll and other expenditures."
National chains are usually credited with returning 15%-30% of their revenue to the local economy.
Buy Local efforts are part of the broader New Localism trend, which we cover in the Intuit 2020 Report. We also have a lot of coverage of New Localism - a trend I consider one of the most interesting, complex and important we follow - in our Local category.