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FirstEnergy first to abandon interim clean-energy goals for addressing climate change; the body of an 11-year-old Texas girl who disappeared on her way to school has been found in a river; and Indiana youth reported to be making progress despite challenges.

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The U.S. rejects a U.N. resolution on Israel-Gaza ceasefire, but proposes a different one. Some Democrats vote against Biden to protest his policy on Gaza and a California woman is being held in Russia.

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Drones over West Texas aim to improve rural healthcare, the Ogallala Aquifer, the backbone of High Plains agriculture, is slowly disappearing and federal money is headed to growers of wool and cotton.

NE small-town businesses urge support on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25

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Thursday, November 16, 2023   

Small Business Saturday is Nov. 25 and there are plenty of Nebraska small business owners hoping for your business.

In 2022, shoppers across the country spent nearly $18 billion at small shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.

Luis Franco, senior loan specialist at the Center for Rural Affairs, said supporting your local small businesses has a number of advantages, one of them being the chance to form meaningful relationships.

"The money you spend stays in your community, which supports all your local businesses, helps to create jobs and drive economic growth," Franco pointed out. "You can also think about the environmental impact, because you're avoiding long-distance trips to purchase gifts."

Franco explained finding unique products is a major reason people shop at small businesses. He encouraged people to check out their favorite communities and entrepreneurs on social media, as many of them will have special offers and events planned.

And he hopes Nebraskans continue to support the growing trend to "shop local" on Nov. 25 as well as throughout the holiday season and into the new year.

"Twenty-three percent of shoppers say that they choose one retailer over another one because they want to shop and support small and local businesses in their community, which is really important," Franco noted. "I feel like that's something that we have to consider whenever we're thinking about our holidays. Where are we going to spend our money?"

Carrie Colburn, owner of Colburn Consulting and Project Management in York, said for small town entrepreneurs like themselves, there are ways other than social media to get more "eyeballs" on their products.

"I think open houses can be really successful in a small community, especially when you join with other small businesses," Colburn suggested. "Another favorite of mine is just in-store promotions: What are you doing in-store to talk about whatever else might be coming up, or to invite people back in?"

Colburn added there are fewer "fish to catch," but also less "clutter" for small-town entrepreneurs, including when it comes to advertising competition.

"Does your local community have a chamber of commerce, and if they have a chamber of commerce, do they offer newsletters or advertising within that means?" Colburn asked. "Do you have a local newspaper or local radio station that you can do a campaign for the holiday season?"

For some small business owners, Small Business Saturday will be one of their busiest days of the holiday season.

Disclosure: The Center for Rural Affairs contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Environment, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, and Rural/Farming Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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