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Like snowflakes, each independently owned boutique and restaurant is unique. With more than 50 artist galleries, shopsShop-Local-Small-Business-Saturday and restaurants in Old Ellicott City – we’ve got a blizzard of shopping opportunities this holiday season!

Did you know that local businesses are known to have a “multiplier effect” on their communities? The fact is that every dollar spent at a local, independently owned business stays in the community and generates a far greater economic value by creating jobs and more localized spending. But it’s not just about the economy: Research shows that vibrant local business communities lead to more charitable giving in a community, more walk-able neighborhoods with unique character and less pollution.

More than two dozen studies have looked at the value that small businesses bring to their local communities, says Michael H. Shuman, an economist and author who specializes in community economics.

“Every single one of them shows that every single dollar spent at a local business leads to two to four times the amount of jobs, income and wealth, tax collections, and charitable contributions,” Shuman says. “There’s no magic to it—it’s basic economics that companies that are local have more local relationships, and that’s what creates this disproportionate positive effect.”

For example, a 2012 study by Civic Economics, a company that analyzes the impact of buying local, found that the locally owned independent retailers in the study returned 52% of their revenue to the local economy, compared to just 13.6 percent by national chain retailers.

As an individual shopping small businesses, you’ll get friendlier customer service from folks who know the the product they’ve created or hand selected just for you.

Major corporations have changed the dynamic of shopping in the United States over the past few decades, with many big-box stores driving out small, local retailers by undercutting their prices and building mammoth operations. But in cities and towns all across America, locally owned businesses are making a comeback—and it’s making a difference.

As Small Business Saturday 2016 approaches on November 26, it’s a good time to remember the tremendous value that the Historic Ellicott City businesses provide our community. Please be a champion for Old Ellicott City by ‘Shopping Small’ this holiday season!