Consider small businesses when it comes to Christmas spending

Ten people were severely pepper sprayed last month.

No, they were not the UC Davis students who were defending their right to protest, but shoppers at Walmart buying discounted Xbox video game consoles during Black Friday.

Black Friday is meant to help provide Americans with discounted goods so we can spend more. But why are we consuming so much and violently turning to places such as Walmart?

We should be buying local at all times, even during Black Friday.

Take Walmart, for example. We can see that their 2010 revenues surpassed America’s largest oil company, largest manufacturer and largest pharmaceutical company, according to an environmental study by Service Space.

Their wealth is astronomical, with sales surpassing five times that of Costco and 10 times that of Amazon.

Not only is it a wealthy beast, but Walmart has a notorious track record for putting local vendors out of business.

We shouldn’t be contributing any more than necessary to these types of corporations.

Small business are what benefit our economy. Smaller firms provide jobs for more than half of America’s private workforce and are arguably better employers than their counterparts. Workers are generally treated better and protected far more than their corporate counterparts.

The small business is the product of the entrepreneur. These entrepreneurs challenge our traditional ways of business and in return stimulate our economy. Without them new ideas can be squelched and we can become lost in a sea of corporate machines who arguably harm the environment, people and our livelihoods with their practices.

Every holiday season we spend massive amounts on gifts and decorations. Let’s change our ways.

According to Mother Jones, the nation collectively spends 8 billion dollars on Christmas decorations alone. The typical American child will receive 70 new toys a year – most during the holiday period – and it is estimated that the average American spends close to $800 on holiday presents.

If we’re willing to spend so much on the holidays, we should be putting it into places that can help our local community grow. We can help innovative and creative entrepreneurs change the world. Let’s take all that money and turn it toward something good.

As of now, our small business owners are worried.

In a poll evaluating the 2012 outlook for small business owners, approximately one in three small business owners feel very or moderately worried about going out of business, according to a study conducted by Gallup.

Let’s change this attitude.

It’s true that small businesses are usually pricier than corporations such as Walmart. Yes, we will have to spend more. However, in doing so we can evaluate our spending a little more. Why does a child need 70 new toys a year? Why do we need to spend so much when we throw so much away? This holiday, when you purchase gifts you can give something special and unique.

It should be about quality, not quantity.

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