This year, smack dab between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is another retail occasion that gets a little bit less attention. But for me, it’s something just a little bit more special: Small Business Saturday.
Launched by American Express just a few years ago, Small Business Saturday is an occasion where we are encouraged to support those businesses that line main street and are populated by workers that know our name the second we walk through the door. It’s a great time to remember that despite their size and revenue, bigger retailers employ a small percentage of us overall. Without our small businesses, and our small business workforce, our country is a very different place.
While I appreciate Small Business Saturday, there is one sticking point for me. The definition of local does not include those companies doing business online.
Now this makes sense if we’re talking about big national retailers, but our company, WaterFilters.NET, is about as local as they come.
Our warehouse and operations were founded and are still located in the small town of Zumbrota, MN – population just over 3,200. Zumbrota has camping, a nostalgic downtown – and Minnesota’s last remaining original covered bridge – honored yearly with our Annual Covered Bridge Festival. I included an image below, in case you aren’t ever lucky enough to come up and see it for yourself.
We employ about 50 residents of Zumbrota – or residents from nearby towns – in our warehouse, call center and operations department. About a dozen more of our employees can be found in our satellite office just up the road in Edina, outside Minneapolis.
When you buy anything at WaterFilters.NET, whether it’s a replacement Pentek water filter or a tankless reverse osmosis system, more of that money will go back into our local communities than if you were to buy from one of our bigger counterparts with a brick and mortar presence. At the end of the day, this is the mantra behind Small Business Saturday.
As you make your way through our first round of holidays, and our first round of shopping extravaganzas, remember that the more you spend with small and local businesses, the more money goes back to small and local communities. And that sometimes, ‘small,’ ‘local,’ and ‘online’ can all be accurate descriptions for a business.
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