By JOHN H. WARD / Monroe Journal

Small Business Saturday follows on the heels of Black Friday, giving shoppers the opportunity to support local businesses. The mission of Small Business Saturday calls attention to the importance of small businesses and encourages support for small companies, especially at the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

“It makes a huge impact on the local economy. Per the American Express Company, 67 cents of every dollar spent locally stays in the local community,” said Aberdeen Visitors Bureau Director Tina Robbins. “Even if you aren’t Christmas shopping on that day, buy something. Every purchase matters,” Robbins said.

Small Business Saturday was originally trademarked in 2010 by American Express and has since been picked up by many businesses and organizations throughout the country, including the U.S. Small Business Administration and many local chambers of commerce and downtown shopping districts.

“We follow the guidelines from American Express. If everyone would just buy $5 worth from each merchant, it makes a big difference,” said Aberdeen Main Street Director Ann Tackett.

Amory Main Street Director Alyssa Benedict is grateful for all the advanced work that has been done to lead up to the event.

“I have seen our merchants work so hard this past year to bring great shopping experiences to our town, and I encourage everyone to shop local for the holidays to support the ones who are here for us all year round,” she said. “They have decorated and made our downtown feel so homey for the holidays and have made it a place we can bring our families to enjoy.”