Opinion

Revere thinks small

The holidays are looming and the retail juggernaut is cranked up and accelerating in a bid to grab consumers’ dollars before the year ends. National franchises selling every type of item from coffee to cars have embarked on a relentless push to offer deals and reinforce the reminder that holiday shopping is just a keyboard click away from being completed.

This spending whirlwind is sweeping across Main Streets and downtowns where small businesses still survive by attracting shoppers who are ready to spend cash or use a credit card to purchase goods.

There is an annual push during the early holiday season to remind consumers to shop in small businesses. Small Business Saturday is no match for the hype surrounding the Black Friday retail bonanza. But Revere and many other small cities and towns are taking extra steps to focus attention on local businesses.

The city’s economic development team envisions a bus tour taking interested shoppers or store browsers around to a dozen or so small businesses in Revere. Modest in its scope, the local proposed Small Business Saturday is a chance to highlight newer businesses opened by entrepreneurs who want to prosper in Revere, as well as decades-old establishments that still make the money the traditional way.

It makes sense for every community to shine a spotlight on small businesses. They are often owned by people who have multi-generational roots in a community. They often employ local residents and they survive when big retail or restaurant chain franchises open locally, only to close based on a corporate decision analyzing an entire store chain, not just a single franchise.

Small Main Street stores aren’t so much shunned by the consumer as they are overlooked in the rush to make holiday purchases and secure deals touted in the incessant barrage of multi media advertising blitzes.

Small businesses matter in a community because in cities like Revere or Saugus or Malden, they still anchor downtowns and they still provide services and goods local residents have come to depend on.

The economic cautionary tale of 30 years ago warned that malls would kill small businesses and suck the life out of downtowns. But social media’s ascendancy has made malls and highway-oriented retail the first victim of online consumerism. The little guys, simply by being small, have survived in many cases because they are run by savvy owners who work 70 hours a week, always have an eye on the bottom line, and who know how to trim overhead.

Thankfully, Revere and other communities are looking after the little guys by promoting or planning to promote small business days. Small business is one of the economy’s most resilient sectors but hard-working owners and small business workers can always use a little extra help. After all, it’s the holidays.

Revere is encouraging residents to participate in this year’s Small Business Saturday, and has raised a banner in front of City Hall celebrating the upcoming event. Small Business Saturday encourages residents to do their shopping locally, contributing to the local economy and helping preserve and create jobs.

On this year’s Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Nov. 25, the City of Revere will host a bus tour of 10-15 small businesses within our community, starting with the Good Diner Café on Broadway. Additional information about the bus tour will be sent out closer to Small Business Saturday.

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