The Thanksgiving bird, or what is left of it, is in the fridge awaiting my post-Thanksgiving ritual: football and an open-faced turkey sandwich with gravy. But wedged between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is one of the most important shopping days of the year – Small Business Saturday – and I don’t plan to miss it.
Founded in 2010 as a way to improve foot traffic for local businesses, Small Business Saturday has grown to become one of the biggest, most successful shopping days in the nation. It also calls attention to the importance of keeping our shopping at home and supporting our small businesses. After all, they serve as the backbone of our economy and the heart of our communities. Some 99.45 percent of businesses in California are actually small businesses. In fact, at last count, there were 3.7 million of them in the Golden State.
Two out of three Californians are employed by a small business and almost 97 percent of all businesses in California have 49 or fewer employees. These businesses are responsible for creating the jobs that help families pay their mortgage and put food on the table. Small Business Saturday is a great way to say thank you to our local enterprises.
These mom-and-pop shops run the gamut from restaurants to spas, fitness studios, and more … but in Sacramento, the little guy hardly ever gets a voice. All the attention is on big business and big government; which is why I try to call attention to the contributions our small businesses make to the community. From Little League sponsorships, to scholarships and food drives, our small business owners make the difference, which is why I am proud to fight for them in Sacramento.
It is no secret that California’s businesses are among the nation’s highest taxed, regulated, penalized and punished. But true to form, our business community keeps on chugging. It has resurged from the Great Recession in ways none of us thought possible. California’s unemployment is at near record lows as businesses found creative ways to put more of our folks back to work. Small businesses have led California back to its rightful place as the world’s sixth largest economy. In addition, they have shouldered the burdens, however unfair, placed on them by over-burdensome regulations and taxes.
This Saturday we have the unique opportunity to give back to the locally owned enterprises that do so much for our community. Putting small businesses front and center this holiday season is the least we can do as customers and a community for our neighbors and friends who give so much for their time and resources to support our community.
To call attention to these contributions I recognize a different small business each month with the 21st Senate District’s Small Business of the Month Award.
Since my election to the Senate, I have recognized 18 businesses with the award. Five of those are from the SCV: Wolf Creek Brewing, PacLock, Rancho Deluxe and Advanced Audiology. On Monday, Nov. 26, 24/7 Events will be added to this list. You are all welcome to join me at this community celebration.
Wolf Creek Restaurant and Brewing Co. owners, Rob and Laina McFerren, have been long-time supporters of many community activities and have made it a point to donate their time as well as their products to everything from the Child and Family Center to College of the Canyons. One would be hard pressed to find a nonprofit in our community that has not been a beneficiary of their generosity.
Rancho Deluxe’s Steve Arklin and his wife Diane have been supporters of College of the Canyons, Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital, the local Boys & Girls Clubs, the arts and a number of other organizations in the local community.
The Yang family has maintained PacLock’s commitment to helping the disabled, disadvantaged and those who have had struggles with the law, to find meaningful employment.
Nola Aronson of Advanced Audiology donates 10 percent of her hearing aid profits to a different non profit each month. She continues her love of education by helping children learn to read and write with book donations and other support for the local Boys and Girls Club.
These are just some of the great things our local business community does to make life better for all of us. While the U.S. Small Business Association reports that 28 million small businesses in America account for 54 percent of U.S. sales, it does not begin to reflect the many contributions these folks make to our cities, towns and regions.
So today, after you finish off that turkey sandwich, make sure to spend some time shopping locally.
Sen. Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, represents the state’s 21st Senate District, which includes the Antelope Valley and most of the Santa Clarita Valley. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.