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Our ties to home grow stronger each year during the holiday season. Family and friends return home and people come together to celebrate the joy this time of year brings. While we gather with loved ones and remember all the things to be thankful for, we should also remember to thank our local businesses that help shape our communities. Over the last several years, more and more consumers are realizing and appreciating the effects of supporting small businesses during the holidays.

Tucked between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is one of the most important shopping days of the year: Small Business Saturday. For the eighth year in a row, the Senate passed a resolution designating the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday. This designation is intended to draw attention to the local businesses that create jobs, drive our economy and sustain our communities. I am a proud cosponsor of this resolution and encourage you to show your appreciation for the small businesses in your community by shopping locally on November 25.

Local spending and business growth directly benefits the local economy. Independent stores return more than three times as much money per dollar to the local economy than their chain competitors. This revenue helps drive employment opportunities and can provide funding for needed projects – anything from road maintenance to technology updates in schools.

Last year, an estimated 112 million consumers reported shopping at local retailers on Small Business Saturday. This is a 13 percent increase from 2015. At a time when consumers are increasingly choosing to shop online, it is great to see that many still prioritize supporting small businesses on this day. Hopefully this year even more Americans will turn out to support their communities and experience all their local manufacturers and risk-taking entrepreneurs have to offer.

Small, locally-owned businesses are an integral part of our communities, so let’s get out there and show our appreciation.