The Christmas shopping season is now in full force. Be sure to save some shopping love for Small Business Saturday tomorrow in Monroe.
There are many reasons to support Small Business Saturday, not the least of which is the fact that these are your friends and neighbors providing goods and services to your own community.
As reported by the Walton County Chamber of Commerce in the Buy Local program, many people don’t realize the importance of keeping their hard-earned dollars in their own community. Besides the convenience of staying close to home, the tax dollars generated are also supporting their police and fire department, parks and recreation facilities and other government services.
The first Small Business Saturday was launched with the support of American Express in 2010 and the movement is growing. American Express OPEN, the company’s small business unit is urging everyone to support the movement and is offering benefits to using your American Express card in doing so. Find out more about it here. The site also has a directory to local business you can support in this national Buy Local Program.
The Walton County Chamber of Commerce is also urging participation and has a member directory list to help highlight local businesses. The Antique Rail will begin its Saturday runs at 10 a.m. and will take you to the Mill District, giving you several selections for shopping and dining locally. There is no cost to ride the trolley. It will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. every Saturday during the holiday shopping season.
As always, be alert during the Christmas Shopping season since it also brings out some of the less desirable shopping practices. Here are some tips of how to shop security smart from the Gwinnett County Police Department shared on our “brother” site Grayson Local.
- Observe your surroundings; report any suspicious or loitering persons.
- Store packages in the trunk of your vehicle and not in the passenger compartment. Covering items with a blanket or coat is NOT a deterrent to thieves!
- Avoid putting packages into your vehicle, then continuing to shop. Most stores will hold packages until you are ready to leave.
- Park your vehicle in a well-lit area.
- Shop with others and allow retail employees to assist you in transporting packages to your vehicle.
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash. Use secure payment such as a credit card and check your account statements frequently.
- Have purchases delivered to your home.
- Use a cell phone camera to immediately record the serial numbers of purchases. Most electronics have a sticker on the side of the box containing the serial number and other numbers unique to that particular item. To be extra diligent, you can send the photos to your own email account so they can be accessed from any computer. Should the worst happen, this information can be provided to police.