Small Business Saturday’s Strategy Is Good for the Economy and Chicago Shoppers

Move over Black Friday. Small Business Saturday is here. And the timing couldn't be better.

American Express is hoping to encourage shoppers to spend locally this season, starting today. In fact, the credit issuer is offering $25 in spending credit to the first 200,000 people who register American Express cards today on the Small Business Saturday website, according to Chicago bankruptcy attorneys. But before you write the whole thing off as an expensive marketing campaign, think about this - it makes financial sense.

When money is tight, why would we want to give the precious little we have left to big-box corporations when we could give it to independent Chicago stores owned by our neighbors - folks like us, who are just trying to get by?

According to the 3/50 Project, a group formed to encourage local shopping, what's good for your local economy is good for you. For every $100 spent at an independent store in your town or city, $68 goes back into the local economy via taxes, payroll and other costs. That's compared to just $43 when you do your shopping online or at a national chain.

A healthier local economy means more jobs, more amenities and, eventually, even higher home values. It's a win-win. And when you're gift shopping, your recipients win as well. Instead of pricey electronics and impersonal gift cards, you can find unique presents - and often for lower prices. A bag of coffee beans roasted independently at an in-town café and a ceramic mug crafted by a local artist is so much more interesting than yet another Starbucks card and a green Starbucks thermos.

And as always, if you're burdened with so much debt this season that you're finding any purchase difficult - local or otherwise - the best gift you can give yourself is a fresh start. Bankruptcy can get you back on your feet with a realistic payment plan and legal help. Learn more for free with a no-cost, no-strings personal debt analysis with a Chicago bankruptcy attorney.

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