#SmallBizSuffolk today

Published 10:30 pm Friday, November 28, 2014

By now, just about everybody knows that spending money at a locally owned business contributes to the local economy than spending at a chain.

Multiple studies show locally owned, independent restaurants return twice as much per dollar of revenue to the local economy than chain restaurants, according to the American Independent Business Alliance. And independent retailers return more than three times as much money per dollar of sales than chain competitors, the alliance says.

That money comes from spending the business does to operate the business, such as buying utility services and equipment and paying employees; money the business spends with other area businesses; and money owners and employees spend from their income in the local economy.

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Despite knowing the benefit their local dollars could have, however, many continue to shop and eat at chains at least a good amount of the time, if not most or all of the time.

Following the madness of Black Friday, which generally benefits large national retailers, today is Small Business Saturday, on which people are encouraged to do their Christmas shopping — or just any kind of shopping; we’re sure the business owners won’t mind! — at local businesses.

The Suffolk News-Herald has partnered with the Suffolk Department of Economic Development to give locals yet another reason to support local businesses today.

Anyone who visits a local, independently owned business in Suffolk today, takes a photo inside, tweets it or posts it to the Suffolk News-Herald’s Facebook page using the hashtag #SmallBizSuffolk, and mentions the name of the business will receive one entry per business they visit for a drawing for four $250 gift cards. Winners will be chosen on Monday from among all the people who tweeted or posted by 11:59 p.m. on Saturday.

So get out there and shop (small) ‘til you drop, and then visit a locally owned restaurant for lunch and dinner (photos posted from local restaurants are eligible, too). The more entries, the better your chances at winning. Good luck!