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Quigley: Small Business Saturday is a big deal

The Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce & Industry will join forces with the United States Chamber of Commerce in supporting Small Business Saturday on Nov. 30.

Since its founding by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has encouraged holiday shoppers to purchase gifts and dine on the Saturday after Thanksgiving at locally owned and operated businesses that function as the “heartbeat of our communities.”

The U.S. Senate officially recognized Small Business Saturday in November of 2011.

Small businesses in Elmhurst and around the country can participate simply by logging in at the Shop Small website ( Businesspeople can access logos, signage and templates for email and social media, and personalize those marketing materials to their business.

In 2012, consumers spent a reported $5.5 billion on the Saturday following Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, when individuals and families traditionally flock to the malls to purchase presents from national and international retailers offering door-buster specials.

For each dollar spent at a locally owned independent store, 68 cents stays in the community in taxes, payroll and other expenditures, as compared to 43 cents from a national chain. For each dollar spent shopping online, zero cents in local sales tax is generated.

In Elmhurst, shopping local still generates more than 25 percent of the city’s tax revenue. A typical Elmhurst household spends $1,600 per month on everyday kind of purchases, which, if spent locally, can generate $28 per month in sales taxes. If all 16,000 households in Elmhurst made their everyday purchases in town, the city would benefit from $5.376 million in sales taxes.

Each purchase of a new or used car, truck, van or sport utility from an Elmhurst automobile dealership generates $100 in sales tax per every $10,000 in vehicle value. Overall, Elmhurst’s auto industry traditionally produces 35 to 45 percent of the city’s annual sales tax revenue.

It’s important to remember that higher retail sales tax revenue typically equates to lower municipal tax rates for both residential and commercial property owners.

Many of Elmhurst’s retail shops, restaurants and service businesses are owned and operated by residents who might just be members of your family, neighbors and friends. At ECCI’s Spring Luncheon in 2010, more than 70 Chamber businesses with multi-generational family roots were recognized. In 2013, some 75 members with a quarter century plus in our Chamber were feted.

Support them with your shopping come Small Business Saturday.

John R. Quigley is president and CEO of the Elmhurst Chamber of Commerce.

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