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November 10, 2012

Small Business Saturday: Be Inspired and Shop Small

I have been selected to be Small Business Saturday Ambassador !!!What does this mean? Well, I will be writing a series of posts about small business to hopefully get my readers thinking about about shopping locally at small businesses in their own communities.

As a blog owner, I can related to other small business owners. I run my blog like a business. Besides having a few friends who help me out with product reviews once in a while, I pretty much do everything on my own. Some of my friends think that blogging is just a fun hobby I have. While this is true, because I work closely with PR firms and small business owners, I have commitments I do need to fulfill. Essentially, every review I write and every giveaway I host on my blog is the results of hours of work unseen by my readers. No matter what kind of day I am having at home, when I am committed to writing a post, I would complete the task even if it means I have to stay up later than I wanted. In my opinion, I feel that treating my blog like a business has shown other people how serious I am about it. Subsequently, my friends and family members respect what I do that much more. Blogging is a lot of work, but it is very rewarding. I imagine that owning a small business is the same way.

My father in law was a small business owner for many years. My grandparents as well as my mother were also small business owners. Having to watch them struggled with their businesses, both my husband and myself know first hand what it is like to own a business. It might seem like a luxury to be able to work for yourself and set your own hours; but, small businesses are built on tears, sweat, sacrifices and hard work. Your income is solely based on how well your business is doing and that is easily affected by the economy. When the economy is bad, many small business are impacted to the point where they are forced shut down.

I have great admiration for small business owners who are able to survive and even thrive when the economy is bad. Somehow, there are those small shops who managed to stay open even though business is slow. They cut back on expenses and they work long hours to make sure that their businesses keep on going.  It's easy to give up when things get tough, but they have so much drive and endurance that they are able to make things work.

Next time when you are walking in  your community, stop in on one of those small businesses. It might not have the inventory of a large national chain, but you might be surprised by how helpful the employees are. You might even find specialty items you normally would not be able to find else where. By my friend Jessica's house is a small shop that sells honey. It's the only place both of us buy honey from. The shop sells 100% natural, organic honey in more than 30 varieties. The woman who owns it is an old lady whose husband passed away a few years ago. She does not have any workers to help her. She could have retired after her husband passed away, but she decided to keep the small store open because she loves working there. We shop there not just because we love the honey. We love chatting with her every time we go. We love that she remembers our names and she shares interesting stories about her life with us. It's always such a pleasant experience going there. I think that she is such a wonderful example of everything a small business could be. She is empowered by owning a small business and she is also an inspiration because if someone her age could do it, why not other people like you and me? If my children decide to start a business of their own one day. I hope that they understand how much hard work is involved and how tough that road is. By the same token, I also hope that they don't give up easily. With hard work, they will be rewarded greatly as well. 

Small businesses are faces of the local communities. Support them by shopping at their stores will in turn help your community! For this holiday season, while you are picking up gifts for loved ones, be sure to check out your local stores and show your support.

I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting for American Express. I received a promotional item as a thank-you for participating.

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