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Durkin: Celebrating Small Business Saturday

Published: Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013 3:43 p.m. CDT
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Jim Durkin represents Illinois' 82nd District.

Owning your own home, earning a college education, starting your own business …these are just a few of the hallmarks of what has long been called “The American Dream.”  Unfortunately for many families in today’s tough economy, many aspects of that dream have become increasingly difficult to attain.

This Saturday, each of us can help make a major difference close to home.

Nov. 30 is Small Business Saturday all across the nation. More than symbolic, this date is a call to action to support the men and women who fuel the engine of our local economy. Far from being faceless names in fancy offices in faraway cities, these are our neighbors. Our kids attend the same schools, we cheer for same local sports teams and we share the same concerns about the quality of life here in the southwest suburbs.

With the holiday shopping season upon us, now is the perfect time to support our local small business men and women. By shopping local, we find quality products and services at competitive prices while helping small and family-owned shops stay in business, which in turn helps them to grow and create new jobs. All of this strengthens our local economy and provides opportunity for families who need it.

Life today is harder than ever for small business owners. We see it all too often. Vacant storefronts with “For Lease” signs in the window, a story here in the local newspaper about the latest business shutting its doors or moving out of state, or a phone call from a friend or loved one telling you their spouse was just laid off.  

The growing federal and state tax burden makes surviving in a tepid economy very difficult for local entrepreneurs. Looming on the horizon is the debate over whether the so-called temporary state income tax hike on individuals and employers will roll back at the end of December 2014 as scheduled, or whether Illinois will continue down the path of higher taxes and job losses to neighboring states like Indiana.

Despite the legitimate frustration and skepticism which you might view state government, you can make a difference. This weekend, it all starts with supporting our local small businesses. There are many outstanding shops of all kinds in the Western Springs, Burr Ridge, and the La Grange area. Call my district office at 630-325-2028 or e-mail me at repdurkin@hotmail.com to find out how to connect with the shops you’re looking for through our local chambers of commerce.

Take advantage this Saturday and get a leg-up on your holiday shopping. Who knows? You just might snag some great deals on the perfect gifts for your family and friends.

Jim Durkin represents Illinois' 82nd District

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