“It’s rare,” my best friend said, as we sat in a unique Akron establishment. He was referring to the friendship we have shared that has somehow survived the test of time. There are three of us, actually, and our friendship has endured, which is absolutely rare–and good. As we’ve scattered across the country over the years, each of us developed an appreciation for the peculiarities and culture of the places where we have visited and lived.

This brings to mind the Saturday following Thanksgiving, which has been dubbed “Small Business Saturday.” On that day, folks are asked to patronize and support local small businesses. My family always partakes, ensuring that we at least enjoy dinner at a unique, local restaurant. Last year, my two best friends and I even met on Small Business Saturday, where we enjoyed a locally-sourced dinner, beverages, and even cupcakes and candies.

It has become a sort of tradition.

With this in mind, one might ask why we have just one day during the year to emphasize local businesses. In my humble opinion, we should do this each and every day. The Miami Valley is full of high-quality small businesses local residents can support, instead of spending our hard-earned dollars with the gigantic businesses, where the profits benefit some faraway place.

When we buy locally, we not only help create a rich, unique culture, but we also support local jobs. In the Dayton community, we can enjoy a morning cup of coffee made from beans that were roasted on Monday of that week. We can buy our staff a dozen donuts made at a local donut house. For lunch, we can visit a food truck or locally owned restaurant. For the holidays, we can buy locally produced chocolates, candies, and pastries, or get family photos from a local photographer for our Christmas cards, which we can order from a local print shop. Dinner? If we are in the mood for pizza, we have options ranging from the long-standing parlors to brick oven pizza trucks to the one-offs downtown. And, of course, we can pay with our debit and credit cards from our local credit union.

So let us expand “Small Business Saturday” into “Small Business Every Day.” In doing so, we can make the Miami Valley a better, richer, and more cultured place to live. That would, indeed, be rare.

Joshua Todd ǀ Business and Mortgage Lending Manager