We know all about Black Friday and most of us will do a little Cyber Monday shopping at work next week, but in between those two is a Holiday shopping movement that has been gaining momentum in recent years: Small Business Saturday.

You hear a lot about how you should shop local, we do it as much as we can here at The LOON. At one time or another, we've all walked across the street and grabbed a meal at Lincoln Depot, or ran downtown to The Electric Fetus for the latest release from our fav classic rocker, and I know I've dropped a fortune at Youth Shelter Supply for my 16 year-old son. This coming Saturday, you can participate in a nationwide movement that encourages you to shop your locally-owned small businesses. It's called Small Business Saturday. Oddly, enough, it was initiated by one of the biggest companies on the planet; American Express. Their website explains the motivation:

"It began in 2010 when American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day. Now, in its third year, Small Business Saturday will be even bigger."

You can click here to find local small businesses that are participating in a one-time $25 rebate, when you spend $25 on your AmEx card... but for most of us that don't have an AmEx, I suggest you click here - The LOON's Value Connection.

By using The Loon's Value Connection, you benefit the local economy in two ways; First, you are saving money. When you buy a certificate from The Value Connection, you're paying for a discounted certificate (exactly like a gift certificate from the business) that works just like cash at the business you're patronizing. That keeps more cash in your pocket, so you can do more shopping at another local business! Secondly, when you buy that certificate, you're adding cash to that business' advertising account, which in effect, expands that business' customer base as they use that money to advertise.

Participating in Small Business Saturday and using The Value Connection makes good economic sense, wouldn't you agree? I encourage you to SHARE this post by clicking the Facebook 'LIKE' button below and show your support for Central Minnesota's small businesses... WE DO.