Shop small, shop local, shop early

In between today — the traditional kickoff to the Christmas shopping season — and Cyber Monday (when shoppers search online for deals they couldn’t get on Black Friday) is Small Business Saturday.

It’s promoted as a day to shop at local small businesses. But there are a million reasons to include stops at local shops when seeking gifts for friends and family today.

That’s a cliche, but not much of an exaggeration. According to the office of Advocacy’s Small Business Profiles, there are more than 939,000 small businesses in Ohio.

That means they comprise 99.6 percent of all businesses in the state, so small businesses are ubiquitous. But there are two things to remember when trying to buy local.

First, not all small businesses are local businesses. So keep that in mind when buying gift cards or certificates for restaurants.

Also, not all local businesses are exactly small. For example, Ballreich’s Potato Chips & Snacks ships its products all over Ohio and beyond. But you can find plenty of gift ideas at the Granny Ballreich’s company store and gift shop.

So there’s no reason to wait until Saturday to shop small and shop local.