If you look around Grand Rapids, you realize that small business is the backbone of our city. Many of the entertainment venues, parks, and educational spaces we visit were funded by what was once a small business. Think Van Andel, Meijer, Seidman and DeVos. These are obviously exceptional examples. But they all started as a small business and prospered. We have all benefitted from their devotion to our city and its residents. On Saturday November 26, it is Small Business Saturday. I know it’s just another one of those ‘ made up’ holidays but it has real impact and meaning to the small business community. It is true that when you purchase from a small business, it directly and immediately impacts all of us. The profits as well as wages paid stay in the area. Many of us that own small businesses also support small business by trying to use local vendors whenever possible. The profits of those companies also stay in the area. And so it goes. I love to shop as much as the next person. Ok, probably more! It’s easy to shop online and look for a deal. Alternatively, I can visit a local shop that carries unique items, many handmade. Grand Rapids has an amazing amount of skilled artisans and crafters. Think of Eastown, downtown GR, Saugatuck, Holland, and all areas in-between that have amazing boutiques and shops. In the midst of all that shopping, you need food and coffee. Luckily, we have an amazing amount of excellent coffee shops (with scones!) restaurants, breweries and bakeries. I’ll be searching for Christmas presents and perhaps something for myself on Small Business Saturday. Hope to see you out there!