Black Friday is starting as early as Thanksgiving afternoon, but we hope shoppers will take advantage of the chance to give Christmas gifts that can't be found at a big-box store.
It will be easy in McCook, where Santa's arrival 10 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, will be followed by the KFNF "Let it Snow" Christmas Light Parade at 6 p.m.
Downtown shoppers will have a great chance to get into the holiday spirit while checking out unique items that can't be found at chain stores that sell only products that can be marketed in the millions.
"Black Friday is when people like to get up early and line up outside the chain stores, but if you're looking for something unique and want to support your friends and neighbors, then you need to support Small Business Saturday," said Bob Hallstrom, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business.
The holiday season is vital for most businesses, but none more so than the small independent shops that line Norris Avenue and other downtown streets in McCook, Northwest Kansas and Southwest Nebraska.
"Small business is what our economy is all about, and if we're gong to create jobs, we need a healthy small-business community," Hallstrom said.
A survey by the organizers indicates that nearly half of all independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday marketing plans, while 67 percent plan to offer special discounts on Saturday, Nov. 24.
"Small and independent business owners are among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity," Hallstrom said. "Shopping locally is a great way for people to help their friends and neighbors and create jobs and opportunities in the places where they live."
Small business owners can visit www.NFIB.com/smallbizsat to submit information about their business and why shoppers should visit on Nov. 24.
So go ahead, stand in line and buy that latest popular toy or hot gizmo if you must; but save some buying decisions for one of the unique gifts you can find in the more relaxed, friendly atmosphere of a small, local independent retailer.