Had enough of the big box stores and their Black Friday gimmicks?  Consider shopping and spending local this holiday season.  Created in 2010, Small Business Saturday is the Saturday after Thanksgiving and this year, it falls on November 24, 2012.

Here’s a look at just some of the benefits of supporting local, small businesses.  Independently owned and operated shops are pillars of the community, offering more than goods and services.  They are passionate and caring about supporting and engaging in community activities.  They provide local jobs and personalized customer service.  They donate to our kids’ sports teams, assist local charities and supply goods and services in times of disaster.  In fact, many small, local businesses are helping Hurricane Sandy victims through the FEMA's Industry Liaison Support Center.

Locally here in Sacramento, many small businesses are celebrating Small Business Saturday.  On Saturday November 24, Funderland is offering two free tickets on Facebook.  Café Soleil, Eyes on J Optometry, and Robert Cristie Photography are also participating in the promotion.  Not sure where to find your local businesses?  The U.S. Small Business Administration’s website contains a list of participating small businesses in your area.

Go local more often — not just on Small Business Saturday.  Join the #SmallBusinessSaturday Twitter movement and make every Saturday a day to shop local.   Help strengthen the local economy, which in turn provides much needed stability to get our nation on its way to economic recovery.

If you are interested in the statistics on small businesses in California, look here