Thursday, November 24, 2011

Small Business Saturday


Here in the United States, we have a late November tradition called Black Friday, on which any shred of good will and tranquility imparted by what was once called Thanksgiving and has now apparently been renamed Pre-Black Friday, vanishes in a cloud of panic and greed as shoppers with less and less money attempt to take advantage of more and more tempting sales and bargains offered by stores that now open their doors Thursday night before your turkey dinner has even made it far enough down your digestive track to require unbuttoning your pants.


Introducing Small Business Saturday. I’ve been seeing a lot of television commercials in recent weeks about an attempt to reclaim the holiday weekend with a shopping experience that does not involve trampling your fellow man in the aisles of a megastore. I’m pretty sure there is some sort of dishonorable agenda or soulless corporate entity behind it trying to profit from a seemingly good deed, but the message is a good one, and if it works, it will also benefit small business owners, so I am happy to support it. Plus, the logo was free to download.



So, I urge you this weekend to shop local, shop small, and avoid any vendor attempting to interrupt your dessert, or spoil your sleeping late the day after a feasting holiday with family you only see once or twice a year, with the lure of a flat screen television reduced to one tenth its original price, and probably marked up a few thousand percent the week before.  Spread the word, this weekend, and beyond, and maybe we can send a message that individual craftsmanship and shops whose proprietors actually have faces and live in your neighborhood are what a good American product and a strong American economy are all about.  And yes, buying something from your favorite starving artist counts as supporting small business!


 Happy Holiday, all. Next time you hear from me I will be living in Vermont!

21 comments:

  1. Thank you for this post. I am so with you. I don't buy anything out of my neighborhood shops if I can help it. Have a great thanksgiving Gabriella!

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  2. Thank you so much, Laura - I am surrounded by boxes as I write this, and can't wait for this move to be accomplished. Your good wishes mean so much to me!

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  3. Happy Thanksgiving, Luis! I was sure you would be in agreement on this. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

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  4. Dear Gabriella,
    Having seen the TV spots for "Small Business Saturday", I was impressed, too. That is, until the CEO of American Express appeared at the end of one of them, making a beautiful and touching appeal for us all to support it.
    Gee, how nice of AE to invent a heart-felt alternative to the raw, naked greed of "Black Friday". A kind and generous financial powerhouse urging normal, 99-percent'ers to spend their paltry few dollars at local small businesses. Gosh, what could they seek to gain from such a heart string-tugging plug for small businesses all across our land?
    Suffice to say, it is a great idea, though sadly it had to come from a wolf in sheep's clothing. And I'll just bet the executive who thought it up will get one hell of a Christmas bonus. Gosh, could AE profit from the best intentioned millions of us who might actually spend more than we would (or should) in order to support our neighbors?
    Okay, okay, I'll stop. I just hope the promotion makes a difference to many thousands of small business owners and ARTISTS.
    And I hope you and Brian have a wonderful Thanksgiving in Vermont.
    Sincerely,
    Gary.

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  5. Hey, G - I did not want to use this space for AE-bashing, but, yes, it does turn out that they are the force behind this clever and somewhat devilish campaign. The hidden gimmick is that if you patronize small businesses AND use your AE card specially registered (and God knows what that act engenders) for the occasion you get a small rebate. Increased use of their card will of course eventually profit AE, both through the cut most vendors have to pay to process credit cards and the likely revenue in interest on unpaid balances (is there anyone who can actually pay off their monthly credit cards in full anymore, especially this time of year?). That said, I am choosing to focus on the good side of this - however ill-motivated - which is getting folks to shop small and local in the first place. Better that than Walmart. Just think, not everyone owns an AE card, or will choose to use it (how cool would THAT irony be?) and at least some of the money will land in the right pockets. Harumph!

    Have a great weekend!

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  6. Happy Thanksgiving and even Happier Vermont Move. Thinking of you, and sending many, many good wishes your way.

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  7. Plaid Friday encourages shopping at small, local businesses, and appears to be completely non-corporate :-)

    http://www.plaidfriday.com/index.html

    Have a great move!

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  8. EC - if I can find one more empty box around here I will pack up your many good wishes and make sure to bring them with me! Precious cargo indeed.

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  9. JMG - hey, thanks for bringing this to my attention. It's a great idea, and I'm happy that at least one of its incarnations is pure of heart! As I mentioned before, it would be poetic justice indeed if the end result of this initiative were simply more sales for small businesses and AE got no real boost in card use or shine to their reputation for their magnanimous gesture!

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  10. Good wishes are infinitely squashable. They will fit in somewhere. In your pockets, up your sleeves, in the car, in your camera case ..... There is always more for one more good wish. Or two.

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  11. You're right! Last night I used some of your good wishes as cushioning while packing my most fragile and precious items, and every time I thought I was running out, more would appear to fill every empty spot! Thanks again, my friend.

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  12. Bravo!, i'm on the shop small side.
    I will be thinking of you dear Gabriella.
    We'll meet in Vermont next time, yeahhh , xx

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  13. Hi Renilde! It means so much to me that I will be in your thoughts! See you soon on the other side!

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  14. I am so looking forward to the first Vermont post - wishing you safe travels and happy unpackings. We try to shop local as much as we can and avoid big chains and stores. It i so important for small towns and neighbourhoods to retain their local businesses and suppliers - their heart if you will. Oh, and we try to support small-business artists as well!

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  15. Thanks for the good wishes, F! I'm looking forward to my first Vermont post next week too - because it will mean that the move is behind me and the new life officially begun! See you on the other side!

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  16. TT/G - sending heaps of positive vibes to accompany you and B on this next stage of life and art journey. Fiona has put it nicely regarding small and local - it is so important when one lives in a small community - it is so easy to just get all the stuff from outside without thinking of the impact on community. Looking forward to your first post move post. Go well. B

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  17. Barry, your timing could not be better! It's 5:45 a.m. here as we find box-space for all the last minute items, prepare to disconnect the internet, try to convince the cat that the world is not coming to an end, do some final cleaning of crevices not visible in ten years, and await the movers, due at 8am! Your heaps of positive vibes are duly noted and deeply felt! See you on the other side.

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  18. I especially like the idea of buying from starving artists.

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  19. Hi Kass - sorry for the delay in replying, but things are very busy here! Thanks for your comment - I hope more people will think like you this holiday season when gift-buying!

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