Robert J Blaney .jpg

Robert J Blaney

PHOENIX — In the middle of a pandemic that has taken so much from us, acts of celebration and sharing hold an even deeper significance.

Although our holidays celebrations will look different this year, our values remain unchanged. This is a season of caring, a season of giving. We each look for ways to ease suffering and connect with our loved ones, even if over a computer screen. As we care for our neighbors by donating meals and gifts and prepare the same for our families, I urge you to make those purchases from local small businesses.

Arizona’s small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the heartbeat of our communities. The impact of the pandemic has been particularly difficult on our small businesses. And still, small business owners continue to demonstrate their resilience and commitment to meet the moment before them. As the world changed almost overnight, small business owners pivoted just as quickly to offer new modes of purchase, go virtual and look after the well-being of their employees, customers and communities. Now more than ever, small businesses need our support as they navigate, retool and further pivot to endure through the pandemic and beyond.

Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a way for us to support independently-owned businesses. When we shop small on Saturday, Nov. 28, we ensure that our purchases make a difference. Here are five ways to thank a small business this holiday season:

Go virtual. Small retailers have made shopping both safe and convenient through delivery and curb-side pickup. Visit the websites of your favorite small businesses to complete your contact-free purchases.

Buy gift cards. These are offered by local restaurants, cafes and breweries for take-out or to save for later use. Just like retailers, food and beverage businesses offer safe and easy online ordering and curbside pick-up.

Support the arts. Visit the websites of your favorite local music and theatre organizations to purchase tickets to virtual concerts and performances.

Get social (media). Share and engage with social media content from your favorite small business in order to boost their online marketing efforts. And be sure to leave a positive online review.

Go local. Visit the website of your local chambers of commerce to find a directory of small businesses. While there, look how to join their socially distanced and virtual activities in celebration of Small Business Saturday and the holiday season.

For more information on how to be a part of Small Business Saturday, visit www.sba.gov/saturday. Small Businesses can find more tips on how to boost holiday sales and take advantage of local business counseling, training and financing resources by visiting www.sba.gov.

This holiday season, take care, stay safe and support small business.

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