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Op-Ed: ‘Tis the season to support local businesses and shop small

Small businesses have the power to propel economies and lift up communities. When we open our wallets and shop small, we’re supporting small businesses that create two out of three net new jobs and employ nearly half of the workforce.

As the voice for Puerto Rico’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates the thousands of small businesses that ignite our local economy and enrich their communities throughout the year. As the holiday season kicks off, let’s recommit in honoring our neighborhood champions — small businesses.

Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018 is Small Business Saturday, a day to celebrate and support small businesses for all they contribute to their communities and to Puerto Rico’s economy. As our island strives to recover and rebuild from the devastation it has suffered over the last year, on this particular Saturday, do your part to support jobs and economic growth in your own backyard.

Go to your nearest plaza del mercado (farmer’s market) when you’re checking items off your grocery list. Visit small shops around a plaza pública (public square) and buy a piragua or typical Puerto Rican candy.

Or why not take the day to visit Old San Juan with your family and support the city’s retail shops to find unique gifts as the ones found at Spicy Caribbee on Cristo Street? Spicy Caribbee boasts a line of hot sauces, spices and dry seasonings — which are blended locally — and its own coffee, a dark chocolaty roast grown in the mountains of Jayuya.

With SBA counseling and financial assistance several years ago, Spicy Caribbee owner Nereida Williams was able to retain two employees, pay suppliers, purchase inventory, and create a three-ounce hot sauce sampler that allows tourists to easily stow in their carry-on luggage.

And this Small Business Saturday, just like in previous years, Spicy Caribbee will be open and encouraging locals and tourists alike to #ShopSmall.

In so many ways, small businesses like Spicy Caribee act as the glue that holds our communities together, making a difference by providing vital jobs and economic impact.  Small Business Saturday supports the local businesses that create jobs and boost the economy.

To continue the entrepreneurial spirit that is so much a part of Puerto Rico’s fiber, please join me in shopping small this Saturday, Nov. 24 as you begin (or maybe complete!) your holiday shopping. And share your stories and where you’re shopping via social media using #ShopSmall.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, please click  HERE.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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