Small businesses offer big benefits for community |

Small businesses offer big benefits for community


Whether you need to indulge in a little retail therapy for yourself or want to get a jump on holiday shopping for friends and family, today is the day to become reacquainted with the locally owned retailers in your community.

Small Business Saturday has evolved into an antidote to the frenzied hype surrounding Black Friday which is largely dominated by national retailers. Instead of enticing customers with blaring ads touting door-buster deals, these one-of-a-kind shops are more likely to be offering hot cider and cookies, along with a diverse array of artwork and hand-selected merchandise.

Fortunately, Park City and eastern Summit County attract lots of entrepreneurs with quirky tastes and a passion for the kind of hard work that is necessary to run an independent business. With shelves full of everything from rodeo wear to fine art, small business owners are bound to offer items to please even the pickiest person on your holiday list.

Once you stray from the herd you are likely to discover that, in addition to their wares, small business owners thrive on face-to-face contact with clientele and have a remarkable level of expertise about their products. More often than not, they are willing to offer advice and service long after you tuck an item under your arm and walk out the door.

There are other benefits too. A significant portion of every dollar spent in your ZIP code, returns to the community in one form or another. From their business license fees and property taxes to the contributions to nonprofits and schools, hometown merchants are integral to the financial success of the entire county.

Local merchants are also more likely than corporate giants to reflect the values of their fellow citizens. Many, for instance, select products that are healthier and less polluting than their mass-produced knockoffs.

These days especially, when local businesses are assailed by competition from big box corporations and internet retailers, small business owners appreciate patronage of their neighbors.

If not today, at least some time during this holiday season, take at least one day to spread the cheer by popping into a local business. You might also consider getting creative with gift certificates for restaurant meals, massages, concert tickets or staycation getaways. When the holiday madness is over and the last presents are unwrapped, your recipient will appreciate the thought even more.

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