THING BIG, shop small.
That's the premise behind Small Business Saturday, being held this Saturday throughout the country.
Established by American Express in 2010, this is a day set aside to remember the smaller, locally owned businesses across the land and especially locally.
The Black Friday craze generally benefits larger, regional and national chain retailers the most.
A few days later, those that prefer to shop from the comforts of their easy chair participate in Cyber Monday.
Black Friday, the most anticipated shopping event of the Christmas sea son, generally features national and big-box retailers offering "doorbuster" deals that most smaller shops don't have the luxury of offering.
And in terms of Cyber Monday, most smaller businesses don't experience near the online sales or even site traffic of the larger retailers and online-based businesses.
Hence the need for Small Business Saturday.
In 2011, more than 100,000,000 participated in Small Business Saturday with an even greater number expected to 'shop small' this year.
The idea is simple. Hit all of your favorite, local stores and specialty shops. Fuel up at the independently-owned gas station. Unwind after a long day of 'shopping small' at one of the numerous local eateries that offer the kind of fare and atmosphere you can't get at the national chain restaurants.
Need another reason? Since most small businesses aren't a part of the insanity that is Black Friday, they still have unique and must-have items in-stock. Their shelves haven't been picked cleaned by ravenous morning-hour shoppers searching for the 'doorbuster' deals.
The pursuit of the perfect gift is made easy. Nothing says "I put some thought into your gift" quite like unwrapping an item not found at every national chain store located in a shopping mall or plaza.
So take your time, shop small and round out that Christmas list with some truly unique and sure to be appreciated items.
The Times Leader is joining in the celebration both today and Saturday by supporting local small businesses with a special advertising section in each day's paper.
Today's section can be located on Page C2.