Small Business Saturday is this Saturday, Nov. 25, and River District business owners are excited to help you shop local this season.

Instead of the Black Friday crowds or Cyber Monday solitude, join your friends, family, neighbors, and River District business owners this Saturday for a unique shopping experience during Small Business Saturday.

Last Tuesday, Wausau Mayor Robert Mielke proclaimed this Saturday Small Business Saturday, and November Small Business Month in Wausau, in recognition and honor of all the good locally-owned businesses do for our economy.

When you shop small at locally-owned businesses, your purchases provide a direct and real impact to the local economy.

For every $100 spent at a locally-owned business, about $68 is recycled back in to the local community via taxes, charitable donations, purchases at other locally-owned businesses, and property taxes from the owners and employees who live in the area. Shopping at big box stores only keep about $43 of that $100 in the community, and approximately $0 from internet and online sales benefit the local economy.

Besides supporting the local economy, there are 10 great reasons to shop local this holiday season:

  1. Encourages local character and prosperity by supporting one-of-a-kind businesses, which provide an economic advantage to the area in an increasingly homogenized world.
  2. Locally-owned businesses build strong communities by sustaining vibrant town centers, linking neighbors in a web of economic and social relationships, and contributing to local causes.
  3. Local ownership ensures that important decisions are made locally by people who live in the community and who will feel the impacts of those decisions.
  4. Local stores often hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know the customers, resulting in superior customer experiences.
  5. Locally-owned businesses create more jobs locally, and in some sectors, provide better wages and benefits than big box stores.
  6. Entrepreneurship fuels America’s economic innovation and prosperity, and serves as a key means for families to move out of low-wage jobs and in to the middle class.
  7. Local stores in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure and make more efficient use of public services relative to big box stores and strip malls, making downtown stores more public resource-effective.
  8. Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers which are more environmentally-friendly because they are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.
  9. A marketplace of multitudes of small businesses creates cooperative competition, which is the best way to ensure innovation and low-prices over the long-term.
  10. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not only on a national sales plan, but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Beyond the community economic benefits of shopping small, it could help your holiday budget, too. There is a selfie contest on Small Business Saturday in which shoppers are encouraged to post a selfie of themselves shopping local at any River District business and post the photo with the hashtag #ShopSmallWausau to Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to any River District business of the winner’s choice. A winner from each platform will be chosen on Monday, November 27.