The Saturday following Thanksgiving (that would be today!) kind of gets left out, because it falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but it is one of the most important shopping days of the year. The idea started small five years ago, to try and get more customers in small business doors during the holiday season, which means dragging them away from perhaps more convenient mall settings. According to Forbes magazine, last year alone, 88 million consumers shopped smaller and locally on Small Business Saturday – which was up nearly 15 percent from 2013. Consumers spent over $14-billion at local and independent businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2014, and this year the hype and buzz for the day seems to have only increased. Could it be that people are just tired of the crowded malls?

The idea to shop small and locally seems more popular every year. Maybe it's become an "at the moment" trend, but for our neighbors in the community, this is their life blood, their bread and butter. Areas like ours in the Hudson Valley and surrounding counties depend on the small business owner on a daily basis. It's always nice to come away with something that was often crafted by a local artisan. It seems more personal when you give that gift during the holidays. Customer service is usually better at a small business as well, since they specialize in what they sell. So...get out there and shop locally today - and every day - Shop Small!