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Opinion: Let’s capitalize on 8th-annual Small Business Saturday

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Consumers are again anticipating the holiday season – the time of year when many of us will make purchases for our family, friends and others. You may have more to spend this year because of the recent tax cuts. I hope you will spend part of your budget at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 24, because it will have a positive impact on our community and on the local economy. Let me explain.

Small businesses mean a lot to me. I grew up in a small Missouri farm town, where the local owners of our small businesses cared for those of us around them. We weren’t just customers. They supported our schools and churches, populated our civic organizations, often gave us our first jobs as youths and still employed many others both full- and part-time. Our proprietors were both well-known and intertwined in our lives, and they are connected to some of my fondest memories.

So, what a privilege it is for me to now work for the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA is solely dedicated to helping our nation’s 30 million small businesses. These businesses generate two of every three net new jobs, boost our local and national economies, and employ half of the workers in America.

Things have changed a little since my youth. Still, today, I scout for great small businesses. I have found that small-business owners understand best what it takes to make an area a real community. To me and many others, that’s an important public contribution and one I hope to never live without.

That’s why I am asking you to make a purchase from a small business on the eighth-annual Small Business Saturday. Last year on this dedicated day, more than 100 million Americans shopped or dined at small businesses to show their support. Join the fun. Bring along friends. Take a shopping trip and share on social media stories about where you will shop and dine using the hashtag #ShopSmall.

Supporting small business on Small Business Saturday is a great way we can be involved in shaping the future of our communities.

Tom Salisbury is the regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration Region VII, which covers Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska. He previously worked as the small-business liaison for U.S. Sen. Roy Blunt and in lending for UMB Bank. Salisbury can be reached at thomas.salisbury@sba.gov.

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