Enjoy Your Holiday Shopping -- Shop Small Business

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Local small businesses offer convenience, expertise and one-of-a-kind gifts.

As American consumers rush to finish their holiday shopping, the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation's leading small-business advocacy group, reminds shoppers not to forget the small, Main Street businesses located in their own communities.

Below are the top five reasons to shop at your local small businesses this holiday season:

1. Support the country's leading job creators. Small businesses make up 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers. Over the past decade, small business net job creation fluctuated between 60 and 80 percent. In the most recent year with data (2003), employer firms with fewer than 500 employees created 1,990,326 net new jobs, whereas large firms with 500 or more employees shed 994,667 net jobs.

2. Small-business owners are community leaders. Most small-business owners spend their entire year contributing to their communities -- what a perfect time to show them how much they are appreciated. Eighty-three percent of the general public believes that local small-business owners contribute more to the betterment of their community. Ninety-one percent of small-business owners contribute to their community by volunteering or through donations.

3. Small businesses are everywhere. Instead of fighting for parking spots at the mall or spending hours waiting in line at department stores, try exploring some of your local small businesses for the perfect gift. And there are plenty of places to look -- there are more than 25 million small businesses in the United States and 90 percent of all retail firms are small businesses with less than 20 employees.

4. Receive extra attention and quality service. Research shows that small-business owners compete with other businesses by focusing on customer service and the quality of their service or goods. As experts in their field, small-business owners go above and beyond to be a knowledgeable and friendly resource for their customers.

5. Find something unique. Small businesses offer shoppers unique products and services that can't be found at large chain retailers. According to a 2005 survey, 42 percent of all small businesses introduced at least one new or significantly improved product, service, process or design into their sales inventory.

NFIB is the nation's leading small-business advocacy association, with offices in Washington, D.C. and all 50 state capitals. Founded in 1943 as a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, NFIB gives small- and independent-business owners a voice in shaping the public policy issues that affect their business. NFIB's powerful network of grassroots activists send their views directly to state and federal lawmakers through our unique member-only ballot, thus playing a critical role in supporting America's free enterprise system.

NFIB's mission is to promote and protect the right of our members to own, operate and grow their businesses. More information about NFIB is available online at http://www.NFIB.com.


Stephanie Cathcart (202) 314-2056

Jordan Vendetti (202) 314-2041

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