By Alex Haglund
As a counterpoint to the consumerist mayhem that is“Black Friday”, the Saturday following Thanksgiving is sometimes known as “Small Business Saturday” or even “Small Town Saturday,” but in Nashville it corresponds with the arrival of old St. Nick (See LEFT) and it has a different name, “Santa Saturday.”
With Santa Saturday, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce and local businesses wish to encourage residents and those visiting to shop local when picking up their Christmas presents and to remember the many benefits keeping their money here can have.
“I am big on shopping local,” said Darlene Schomaker of J&R Appliances, the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s Treasurer. “Nashville has so much to offer. What other small town can you go to and find groceries, appliances, clothes, jewelry? We have everything. You can buy a car, you can buy a refrigerator, you can buy a dress, you can buy diapers…You can find everything you need, and you’re supporting your community. Your money is staying here, locally, to support this community.”
“Without the local businesses here in Nashville, I just don’t think that we would have as nice of a town as we do,” said Sara Habbe of Lee’s Variety in Nashville, who is also a member of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Both Schomaker and Habbe mentioned other benefits of helping to support local businesses. For one, businesses help to support local causes and charity.
“We have so many people come in for donations,” said Habbe. “Without the businesses, our band and sports programs and people in need, well they’re helped too because there is someone there to ask.”
“We support the schools, we donate to fundraisers, I don’t know how many Blu-Ray DVD players we have given away this year,” said Schomaker.
“You wouldn’t believe what our payroll is at our two stores,” said Habbe, “I’m kind of proud of it. And that money stays here too, because that’s who we have hired is local people.”
Shopping local isn’t just about coming to the local businesses, but in that everyone helps to support everyone else.
“I have 28 people on payroll and almost every one of those people bought their vehicles in town,” said Schomaker, “Almost every one of these businesses in town, I support, because they help to support me.”
In the end, another reason to shop local is because the people that run these businesses are your friends and neighbors. Their children go to school with your children, and while the people in the town support the business, the businesses help to support the town and the people in it.
For more information on the benefits of shopping local, please see the Nashville Chamber of Commerce’s ad on page A5 of today’s Nashville News.