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A week from Small Business Saturday — consider shopping small this holiday

As the holiday shopping season looms, let's look local:

Starting on Thanksgiving, Spokane city meters will be a little less costly.  Parking is free all-day on Thanksgiving, then through Jan. 1, the city is cutting us a break, requiring meters to be plugged through 5 p.m., instead of 7 p.m.

Also of interest is the Nov. 24 recognition as Small Business Saturday, which invites us all to call attention to  small businesses in Spokane that deserve our patronage.

Everyone says it -- that small business is the heart of the economy. Let's help by focusing on those small area businesses over the next several weeks.

The SBA's Small Business Saturday website is at The site provides tips for holiday marketing, hiring temporary workers and gearing up for the holiday season. It also includes information for participating in Small Business Saturday.

The American Independent Business Alliance claims money spent at local small businesses generates 3.7 times more direct local economic benefit than spending at chains.

Research done by Civic Economics, an economic development consulting firm, also suggests that cities or towns that help local and independent businesses prosper tend to have a more vibrant community.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.