Several local businesses are taking part in Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30, enticing customers with tremendous deals right here in their hometown. There may be no better time to “Shop Local.”

Shop local is a movement that is gaining momentum across the country. A slow economy has forced all of us to slow down and reassess how and where we spend our money. What most people are finding, and several research sources back this up, is that it pays more to shop locally.

According to the American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA), independent, locally-owned businesses are essential to a vital local economy and community character. Spending money in locally-owned businesses means your money stays in the community. That’s not always the case when shopping at large national chains. You may save a little money in the short term, however, your community may suffer the long-term effects.

Shopping locally means keeping money circulating in our local economy. For example, according to the 3/50 project, founded by retail consultant and professional speaker Cinda Baxter, for every $100 spent at an independently owned, local business, $68 is returned to the community in the form of taxes and payroll and other expenditures as compared with only $43 at nationally owned chain and $0 if shopping online…unless you’re shopping a local business online.

Shopping locally helps keep business going in a community and a thriving downtown business district can add to a community’s vitality.