Because so many entrepreneurs are too shy or embarrassed to say it themselves... I’m here to tell you Small Business Saturday means a lot to small business owners. It’s easy for it to get lost in the shuffle of such a hectic, busy, and commercialized weekend after Thanksgiving. But if there’s one true purpose this magazine has, it’s to make sure we do our part in not letting the small businesses that make up our community get lost in the shuffle. So I’m here to tell you Small Business Saturday means a lot to small business owners. It makes sense that you think about it less than Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a matter of advertising. Black Friday and Cyber Monday feel like “can’t misses” because hundreds of millions of dollars go into advertising them as such. Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals seem so much more newsworthy than Small Business Saturday because PR firms send news clips and news videos to media outlets and bloggers, and TV and internet sites. Small business owners have given up the benefit of large advertising budgets, and national PR campaigns, and TV and internet ads for something they feel is more important. That something is freedom. Freedom to do what they feel is the right thing for their business and their customers all the time. Freedom to not report to bosses, and boards of directors, and bureaucracy, and politics. Freedom to answer directly to the customer. Freedom to let their own pay ebb and flow based on the merit of their efforts. Based on how well they provide their products and services to customers and clients they serve. Freedom to work themselves overtime without getting paid. Freedom to take no pay some months. Freedom to take a family vacation when they want. Freedom to serve a meal under the table to a hungry passerby. Freedom to discount an item for someone in need without seeking approval. Freedom to donate to a local school or organization without cutting through red tape. Freedom to hire a kid on a hunch. Freedom to fire an employee who doesn’t care. Freedom to develop community relationships when they want; and freedom to step back when they want. Freedom to run a business with their heart instead of the bottom line. Freedom to control their own destiny. For all that, small business owners sacrifice the benefit of big ad money and media partnerships. So you won’t see as much coverage on the local news and billboards, and internet blogs, and targeted ads, and national sites for Small Business Saturday. But if you agree with small business owners that any of those freedoms listed above are sometimes more important than having a flashy TV commercial, then maybe consider heading to at least one local business this November 30th. Because I’m here to tell you Small Business Saturday means a lot to Small Business Owners. There are countless small businesses in this magazine, if you’re looking for somewhere to start. In our gift guides, in our ads. We’d love to see you support those who support us, obviously. But I also want to say this. I know hundreds and hundreds of small business owners in the greater Long Beach area through this magazine. Some advertise with me; some don’t. Some are very successful; some are not. Some don’t know if they’ll make it through the winter. Some are opening a new location this year. Some play it cool and act like they don’t need your business. Some seem like they’re begging for your business. I’m here to tell you that Small Business Saturday means a lot to ALL of them. And I really mean that. Believe me, they talk about it. Even the ones you don’t expect. Even the service businesses. Their doors and their phones will be open; and most likely the owners will be on-site eager to help. I’m not saying it’s bad to participate in the big box stuff on Black Friday and the online stuff on Cyber Monday. All I’m saying is if you’re spending hundreds of dollars this holiday season at chain stores, maybe you can pick 1-2 local businesses you like and spend $40-$50 there as well. Unlike the chain stores, the tax dollars will stay in our community. The profits will stay in our community. Most of all, the businesses will stay in our community and continue to make our community great in the 908!