Mary Cervantes

Mary Cervantes is a columnist for the Napa Valley Register.

Next Saturday, Nov. 30, is Small Business Saturday!

Small Business Saturday is held each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving to encourage people to shop at independently owned businesses across the country.

This is a day to celebrate small businesses and all they do for our local communities. It’s a day to support the small businesses that help make your neighborhood special.

With the state of retail changing – from rising rents to shifting consumer behavior shopping online—supporting small businesses is vital.

Here are a few good reasons to shop local as highlighted by John Palmer, owner of Nature Select in St. Helena, a local health food store. (natureselectliving.com)

1. “Psychologically, it’s good for people to be around other people, to have that social aspect in their lives, rather than being at home or being in front of their computer,” said Palmer.

2. “Consider the money that is reinvested into the community, and the jobs on an economic level.

“There is a tremendous self-interest for all of us.

“Even for the part time homeowners here in St. Helena, business success is good for property values.

“So there’s incentive to shop downtown.”

3. “One of the most compelling arguments is that if the big guys put all the small guys out of business, there is not going to be anyone to hold them accountable to those lower prices.

“When they have a monopoly, they can charge whatever they want.”

4. “The big guys will not be responsive to community – like involvement and support of community charities and community events.

“In small business, the owner lives here, the employees live here; they are rooted in their community.

“This is their home. Small businesses have a desire to see the community succeed and they lend their support.”

5. “In the business of health food products, there is a lot online shopping. There are so many stories of counterfeit vitamins purchased online, cheap knockoffs and low quality products for people pursuing bargains.

“My experience shows that most small businesses put their integrity and quality products into their business.”

Thank you John.

Let’s give Napa Valley small businesses the support they need to keep creating jobs, and changing the local economy. Shopping local goes beyond helping our independent businesses.

You are helping your community!

About the Shop Small campaign (#ShopSmall): The movement was prompted by the widespread participation in Small Business Saturday, a day founded in 2010 by American Express.

The Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center at Napa Valley College supports the growth of small business by working with small business owners one-on-one in an effort to grow their customer base and increase revenues.

If you are a small business owner and would like to increase your bottom-line, give the SBDC a call at 707-256-7250 or visit the SBDC web site at napasonomasbdc.org today. Also check the calendar for helpful classes about business.

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Mary Cervantes is the business services director for Napa Valley College Napa-Sonoma Small Business Development Center. Reach her at 256-7253 or mcervantes@napavalley.edu