If you haven’t heard by now, Small Business Saturday is Nov. 26. The Small Business Association describes it “as a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about this “one-day-a-year” set aside to “celebrate” small businesses in my community. My husband (Paul Cote) and I recently celebrated the 24th anniversary of our small business, so I’d like to think I have a better perspective than most economic developers about how important local small businesses are to a community’s self-reliance and a prosperous local economy.

What is community? For me, community means the personal connections and relationships with my family, my co-workers and counterparts, my friends, and my neighbors, and these relationships sustain me and give me great joy. Just like my personal connections sustain me, shopping locally sustains our economy and considerably helps make our community more resilient.

Butte small business owners are competitive and impressive. Butte’s small businesses promote entrepreneurism and innovation. Butte’s small businesses are an economic engine generating a tremendous number of jobs and dollars in our community, playing an important role in our economic ecosystem. Butte’s local small businesses allow their owners to stay in Butte, they create more opportunities for new entrepreneurs, and they are a recruiting tool for folks looking to locate to Butte. These businesses call our community home.

When you purchase an apparel item from a local retailer produced by Butte designers – Simple Places, Krowned Clothing, UpTop Clothing, Montana Coat Company, Purse for the People, Hellfire and Brimstone, Experience Butte, etc. – your purchase helps sustain multiple businesses and members of our community.  Mark Huntington, the owner of the Copper Tee, manufactures many of the items for these designers right here in Butte. And, these are just a few examples of how impactful your local purchases will be this holiday season to our community.shop-small

According to the National Retail Federation, American consumers plan to spend an average of $935.58 during this holiday shopping season.   When you spend locally, our local small businesses take a portion of their sales to purchase local services such as accountants, bookkeepers, advertising, legal services, office supplies and other goods and services to support their operations.

Local investment matters! Purchasing goods outside of Butte means we’re neglecting our locally owned small businesses. It means we’re neglecting our community. There is power in community, and loyalty to our local small businesses does pay off.

So, I’m proposing that my community supports Butte’s small businesses, not just on Saturday, Nov. 26, not just during this holiday season, but all of the time, because Butte’s small businesses are sustaining this community!  I’m also asking you to brag about our fantastic small businesses to your family, friends and neighbors and encourage them to support Butte small businesses too.

Make your money count more than once!  Shop in Butte!

Pam Haxby-Cote is the Executive Director of the Butte Local Development Corporation.
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