American Express promoted this past Saturday as "Small Business Saturday", where they encouraged the public to patronize small businesses as opposed to larger corporations.
In a large urban area like Atlanta, shopping between small businesses and large corporations is not necessarily an "either/or" proposition. Each has its own purpose and place and each fills different needs. For example, large corporations can provide jobs for those who don't want to be entrepreneurs. In addition, about every large corporation you can name started out as a single person or a handful of people creating a small business. Coca-Cola and McDonalds are the first to come to mind. Coca-Cola began as a pharmacist stirring a big pot of essential oils and sugar syrup over a campfire in his backyard. So I guess you could say that the most recognized corporation in the world began as a home-based business!
But small local businesses are tied directly to the community where they reside. They have a greater impact on the local tax base and are often owned by a local resident. The financial circle is very small and money stays concentrated in the community when their shops are patronized.
Recently I completed a very simple billboard-style project for a local Dunwoody businesswoman. Susan B Renegar is an HR professional and CPA who has created her own business in accounting for other small businesses in the area. She has very low overhead, so her prices are much more affordable to other entrepreneurs than larger Perimeter- or Buckhead-based firms. Plus she's easy to get to: Dunwoody traffic is no picnic, but you don't have to join the GA 400 parking lot either!
When you are looking for goods or services close to home, please consider the local entrepreneur when shopping. You may find a hidden gem that is more geared toward your needs and shares your civic goals.