Column: Shopping at your local businesses ultimately improves your community

Still not convinced? The BKBIA is adding the Beer Trolley to Small Business Saturday.


Photo by Artem Beliaikin from Pexels

We are here, yet again, at an important time of the year. I’m not talking about the obvious importance of Thanksgiving. I’m actually referring to Bixby Knolls’ Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30! That means it’s time to get out and support the shops, services and eateries that make up your local business district.

We all agree that every day is a good day to support our local businesses. And we all know how important it is for our local economy. And we all know that a healthy, thriving business district is important for our neighborhoods.

So, we want to invite everyone to “discover” a local business on Nov. 30 and shop, dine, and/ or use a service in the “greater Bixby Knolls area.” Take this specific day and time to meet our small business owners and spend some money in their place. Grab your family, friends and neighbors. Tell your employees, clients and customers. It’s just that important to participate and contribute to the overall success of the area!

What is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a shopping holiday aimed at encouraging holiday shoppers to patronize small and/ or local businesses. The day falls in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, to capitalize on one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. This has boosted its popularity and helped produce a long-term upward trend.

The shopping “holiday” is a great opportunity for shoppers who want to support the local small businesses that keep their towns unique–— and their community members who run them. With a number of community activities dedicated to promoting and supporting Small Business Saturday, it often also serves as a way to bring the community together.

According to Civic Economics: A National Summary Report, for every $100 spent at locally owned small businesses and retailers, $48 will stay in the local economy. That is 48% of your money staying right here in your community. Get the picture?

Shopping local means more than running errands. It is supporting your neighborhood, your community and your city. It was also reported by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance that supporting “locally owned businesses built strong communities by linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships.”

Let’s personalize: This really is a matter of “Main Street USA vs. the online economy.” Yes, it’s all easy and convenient to sit on the computer and run down the shopping wish lists and order everything for next day delivery. That’s just progress and living in our modern, digital world. However, there is nothing like the touch-feel experience of a small brick-and-mortar business. And let’s not forget how important the actual human interactions are when out supporting your business district. Many of our business owners live in the neighborhood which makes our district even more special.

Even in the 2013 movie “Her,” which is all about falling in love with technology, the final scene all comes back to the importance of person-to-person relationships rather than man and machines. This isn’t a soap box moment, there’s truth to it.

When you spend time in a shop, restaurant and any of our service businesses, you are contributing to the survival of “Main Street USA.” I’m not saying you can’t do some of your shopping online, but the special gifts come from just blocks from your house. And let’s go big here, you are really supporting the American Dream of these entrepreneurs.

We are combining Small Business Saturday with our monthly Beer Trolley for a special SBS edition ride to double the fun. The trolley will make it easier to get around and you can always stop for a drink somewhere.

The boutiques have so many special gift ideas, you just need to go in and discover for yourself. And think about practical services as gift certificates, or just for yourself. On Saturday you can get a car wash or get the car worked on, get your hair cut, head to a salon, have a mani-pedi date. And tax season isn’t that far off and you could even buy a gift certificate for someone to get their taxes done.

And with all the holiday hoopla, think of making life a little easier with catering and take-out orders for your holiday parties. You can now put in your order for tamales from Lola’s, order crowlers of craft beer from our breweries, get your pies from Bake & Broil or Polly’s, drop in on Jeff and get a big box of Bundts or run over and get cupcakes from Sweet and Saucy. Long Beach Creamery has new batches of ice cream and other special treats, too.

Have you talked to Soo from Bixby Joe yet? Go talk beer with Patrick at Stateside Crafts. Ask Bjoern from Rasselbock for a “Das Boot.” Drop your dog of at goFetch so you can hop on the trolley. Ask Dutch from Dutch’s Brewhouse what his latest batch is. Say hi to Roman at the Green Olive. Get a gin and tonic in Phil Trani’s bar or walk up the street for the specialty pancake at The Pan. Ask Servando at Orozco’s Auto Repair about his growing business empire. Visit Lucky at Flirt Lash Bar. Watch Robin at Pixie Toys wrap your gifts with extra special care. Ladies should go talk to Crystal at Lucy’s Boudoir. Take some time and walk the aisles at Corked to purchase good spirits for the holiday table. Ask Danny at Liberation Brewing about his rock star career. Dr. Anna Pearl is ready to work the kinks out before the holiday. Treat someone to a full spa once-over at Urban Escape Body Works.

By supporting the businesses in Bixby Knolls, you are continuing to support positive change in the community. The neighborhood continues to be vibrant, your property values rise and the ultimate sense of community pride continues to strive to be the highest in the city. You can keep this all going.

You following me?

So, what’s the real ask? Please, make the commitment to spend some money right here in our business district. You will feel good for doing so.

We thank you in advance for the support.