Small Business Saturday

I'm realistic. I don't need a special farm-raised elixir to clean my toilets; there's Clorox for that. If I lost my gloves, I couldn't quickly hunt down a local knitter in time for work. There's nothing wrong with big business; when big business is done right, it does good for the world.

But I'm also an entrepreneur. When I get to choose who I give my dollars to, I want to put them directly in the hands of someone who had the ambition to actualize their ideas. Society needs to reinforce this positive behavior more often. Economically, small businesses create jobs. But most importantly to me, entrepreneurialism is the foundation for monetizing creativity.   

Without it, we have mega companies doing all the inventing for us. Ironically, I am a creative minds at one of these companies. Although I have a few great ideas, I shudder to think the fate of packaged food innovation is in the hands of my co-workers and I. Every once in a while, I wish our consumers would be snacking on boiled peanuts off the highways of Georgia, or dim sum from the mom-and-pop in Chinatown.

Or let's take art for example. If you're decorating your home, you'd likely go to Target and buy the mass-printed canvases and photo frames. Art that was curated by a few dozen merchandisers and marketers at the Minneapolis headquarters. The same art that will hang in a college room dorm in Houston, or an elderly home in Nebraska. But within 30 miles of any Target, there are 30 different artists with unique styles who would adore the opportunity to paint something for your home.

If we let big business curate our shopping experiences, we lose individuality and creativity. Instead of boutiques, we'll have Walmarts. In place of local pizza joints, there will be Dominos. Small businesses need us. If we don't shop local, there will be nothing local to shop for. There's harmony in buying products from their makers. They have a dream-- the American dream. To do what you love; to build nothing into something.

Instead of Applebees, use Yelp! to search for local restaurants.

Instead of Target art, how about my best friend Brynn of Beckoning Art?

Ditch Kroger for your city's farmers markets. If you go to a big enough market, prices are competitive, if not cheaper than grocery stores. 

Shout out to American Express for creating Small Business Saturday. AMEX cardholders receive triple points on this day. Visit their site to search for local businesses within your zip code.