Atlanta Consumers Encouraged to Shop Local and Save Money Today

They say home is where the heart is - maybe it's time to put our money there, too. At least, that's the theory behind Small Business Saturday.

Never mind that the campaign, which starts today, is backed by credit giant American Express - who happens to be offering an incentive in the form of $25 credit to the first 200,000 folks who register their AmEx cards on the It's a way to pump money into the local economy - and in theory, back into our own bank accounts. And that's good news for those of us with debilitating personal debt, say Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys.

The Small Business Administration says 60-80 percent of new jobs over the last decade were generated by local businesses. Half of all workers in the private sector are employed by small businesses. For every $100 spent at an independent business, $68 circulates back into the local economy, according to the 3/50 Project - that's compared to just $43 when the Ben Franklin is spent at a nationwide company.

If you're going to spend your hard-earned money, you have a choice. You can blow it on a big-box store, where most is going to go to paying the costs of maintaining a large corporation. Or you can spend it at a mom-and-pop shop run by a local business owner - someone who lives in your community and is struggling just like the rest of us.

The idea is that the local shop owners can then afford to hire new employees - perhaps your neighbors - creating new jobs. More money and jobs will uplift the area and eventually lead to higher housing prices. It's a kind of reverse domino effect.

Of course, if you're completely overwhelmed by debt - as millions of Americans are this year - it might not seem like it matters where you shop. Your trail of debt and damaged credit follows you wherever you go. But there may be a way to break free and start over. Bankruptcy can offer an affordable payment plan and legal protection for your assets. Find out for free if a bankruptcy plan is the answer to your nagging financial problems when you try a complimentary personal debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney.

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