By Mary Kuhlman • Ohio News Connection
COLUMBUS - After the commotion of Black Friday winds down, Ohioans are being encouraged to remember the little guys in their own neighborhood.
This Saturday was Small Business Saturday, an effort launched in recent years to celebrate and support local merchants.
Martin Golden, district director for the Columbus district of the Small Business Administration (SBA), says while big retailers also are important, shoppers often get more personal service and care when they shop local.
"They don't have the resources that bigger companies have, clearly they don't have the cost advantages that you see with Internet retailers," he says. "So, it's important for people in the area to realize that small businesses provide a valuable service in our local communities."
Last year, according to the SBA, Small Business Saturday attracted an estimated 70 million people, who spent more than $5 billion at independent stores.
Golden says small businesses play a vital role in the health and well being of a community.
"The money that is spent in small businesses tends to stay in the local area," he explains. "You don't have the profits that are being made repatriated out to other parts of the country. So, it can have I think a stronger effect on the local economy if the money is spent in a small business."
Golden says that half the people employed in Ohio either own or work at a small business, with small businesses accounting for two out of three new jobs created.
There are an estimated 28 million small businesses nationwide.