While you may be readying your list for a Black Friday extravaganza shopping spree, it’s really this Saturday that should be on your radar. American Express has brought back Small Business Saturday, an opportunity to highlight and celebrate local retailers and restaurants. It’s a national effort to get consumers {that’s us} into the smaller businesses — the ones that are quite frankly, B’more’s economic lifeline. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day.

And with our gift guide coming out on Friday with over 100 gifts to by from local businesses, you’ll have the perfect shopping plan of attack! {{hint hint}}

Why shop local? Here are ten reasons from the Institute of Local Self-Reliance:

  1. Local character and prosperity
    Your community’s local character and prosperity thrive when you support its unique and diverse locally owned businesses.

  2. Community well-being
    Local businesses foster community well-being by building strong neighborhoods, sustaining communities, and contributing more to local causes.

  3. Local decision-making
    Local ownership means local decision making by people who live in the community and share in the effect of those decisions.

  4. Local economic benefits
    Keeping your money in your local economy supports local jobs, funds more local services through sales tax, and invests in neighborhood improvement and development.

  5. Local jobs and wages
    Locally owned businesses create more jobs locally and, in some cases, provide better wages and benefits than chains do.

  6. Entrepreneurship
    Local entrepreneurship fosters economic innovation and prosperity.

  7. Public services costs
    Local stores in town centers make more efficient use of public services and community infrastructure than big box chain stores.

  8. Environmental impact
    Local stores help sustain vibrant, compact, walkable town centers, which in turn are essential to reducing sprawl, automobile use, habitat loss, and air and water pollution.

  9. Healthy competition
    A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses across our country fosters healthy competition and ensures innovation and low prices over the long term.

  10. More choices for you
    An abundance of small locally owned businesses, each selecting its own product mix, guarantees a much wider range of product choices for everyone in the community.

Where might you want to shop locally this Saturday to score some great holiday gifts? Some of our favorite boutique hot spots are The Avenue in Hampden, Fells Point, Federal Hill, and Green Spring Station.

Are you an American Express® card holder? Register to save! Enroll your eligible American Express® Card to GET $25 BACK ONE TIME WHEN YOU SPEND $25 OR MORE at a qualifying small business location on November 24th. Enrollment is limited so act early before enrollments run out. Corporate and prepaid cards are not eligible. Register your card…

Click here to find a list of qualifying small business locations.

Get ready to get your shop on, Baltimore!