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Why I don't like Small Business Saturday

Why I don't like Small Business Saturday

This Saturday is Small Business Saturday -- a day when consumers will be reminded to show their support for independent merchants in our downtowns, village centers, and commercial districts.
 
Here’s hoping it’s a record-breaker for all our local retailers.
 
But I’ve never been a big fan of Small Business Saturday.
That’s because to be successful our merchants don’t just need us to head downtown this Saturday to buy something nice for grandma -- before heading back to Target or Amazon the rest of the time.
 
Our merchants need our support, every day.
 
That’s especially true this year when double-digit inflation -- along with soaring utility, wage, insurance, and borrowing costs -- plus a looming recession, will make what happens in the next few weeks so vital.
 
To help spread the message about the importance of spending locally this holiday season, the chamber has created a set of downloadable graphics for social media, websites, email campaigns, and storefronts aimed to make every day Small Business Day.
 
 
Another tough hiring market ahead
 
Hiring isn’t going to be any easier next year.
 
That's according to a joint study by Glassdoor and Indeed which found that the hiring and retention headaches of the past two years will likely persist during and even after a recession.
 
And it may be a slog for quite some time, notes Andy Medici for the BBJ.
 
The trends holding back job applicants are familiar by now: They include lifestyle choices, health limitations, and remote work preferences exacerbated by the pandemic.
 
We were going to be facing a workforce challenge anyway as our population grays. The population in the U.S. between 15 to 65 is expected to drop by 3.2% from 2026 to 2036.
 
Any possible population growth would be driven entirely by immigration, the study adds. And we all know how unlikely that is politically.
 
In addition, if employers want to recruit younger workers, they will need to do more on diversity, equity, and inclusion, Medici adds.
 
About 65% of workers ages 18 to 34 said they would consider turning down a job offer if the company lacked diversity within its leadership and 72% said they would consider turning down a job offer if they didn’t think the employer supported DEI initiatives -- much higher than previous generations.
 
Experts recommend employers broaden their hiring pool to include those normally underemployed or left out of the job market. That includes previously incarcerated people, older workers, and people who would work but cannot without childcare or other care-related support. 
 
Greater Boston's grip on a key sector continues slow fade
 
The Globe’s Jon Chesto wrote a sobering story this week looking at how Greater Boston’s “once-storied financial services industry has been slowly fading, losing its luster and clout compared with the region’s high-flying tech and life sciences sectors.”
 
The finance-and-insurance sector is the only major industry that hasn’t grown over the past year. Even as the state added 131,000 private-sector jobs in the 12 months that ended in October — a 4 percent jump — the number of people working in finance and insurance remained flat at 173,000.
 
This chart illustrates how dramatically the financial services workforce has stagnated.
 
Help local families and support local at the same time
 
Once again the chamber's Young Professional's Group is supporting Newton’s annual Holiday Gift Drive in partnership with The Village Bank, the City of Newton Dept. of Health and Human Services, and Newton Rotary.
 
Here are three ways we can support local families – and local toy shops:
 
  • Attend our year-end networking event: Join us for our last in-person networking event of the year Wed. Dec. 7, 5:30-7 p.m. at Showcase SuperLux at The Street. Bring an unwrapped toy (newborn to age 10) or a $20 donation as the price of admission.
  •  Make an online donation: 100% of donations collected via this online donation portal will be used to purchase gifts from Newton merchants to support the toy drive. No amount is too big or too small.
  • Shop Local: Head to Henry Bear's Park (28 Austin Street, Newtonville) or Just Next Door Cards & Gifts (327 Auburn Street, Auburndale) to pick up toys and gifts (for ages newborn to 10). There’ll be collection boxes at both stores for the Holiday Gift Drive as well as at all Village Bank branch locations
 
Belmont Street construction ahead
 
Construction preparation will begin shortly along Belmont Street between the Belmont town line and Mt. Auburn Street in Watertown.
 
The project is part of the City of Cambridge’s 5-Year Plan for Street and Sidewalks and will include paving, sidewalk improvements, and utility installations. Details and notification sign-up.
 
 
Good to knows
 
  • The Village Bank is once again springing for the cost of all parking meters in Newton this Sat. Nov. 26. to support and encourage shopping locally. The bank will cover all parking meters and kiosks in the city for the entire day.
 
  • All two-hour street meters in Wellesley and Needham will be free during the holiday season through Jan. 2. Free parking is limited only for up to two hours and employers are urged to remind employees to leave the prime spots for shoppers.
 
  • The New Art Center has reopened its gift shop at Trio in Newtonville. The cooperative-style New Art Shop is run by more than 50 artists whose work is available from handmade jewelry to paintings and wearable textiles to sculptures. The shop will be open until Dec. 23.
 
  • The Allen Center is hosting the first Newton Thanksgiving Market today (Nov. 22) from noon to 4 p.m., organized by All Over Newton. View merchants.
 
  • Tickets are now on sale for Mount Auburn Cemetery’s 10-day event: : Reflections on Winter Light, an indoor/outdoor exploration of artwork, candle lighting, and live music.
 
  • The Fresh Market supermarket chain, which currently operates 160 stores in 22 states (including in Hingham) is slated to move to the former Bed Bath & Beyond space on Route 9 East in Framingham. They’d be joining Whole Foods, Aldi, Wegmans, a proposed Amazon Fresh for Shoppers World, Trader Joe’s, Stop & Shop, Roche Bros, Shaw’s, and Market Basket in that area. (Framingham Source)
 
 
Wellesley kid finds business idea in a trash heap
?
Finally, this morning: One day while hanging around at his family's auto business, Wellesley High School sophomore Michel Tufankjian saw a pile of old license plates that were about to be thrown out.
 
That's when Tufankjian, who liked dabbling in woodworking and building things, had an idea, writes Hanna Green at BostInno.
 
He cut the plates up, arranged them in interesting patterns, and launched a business that began at a single gift shop on Martha’s Vineyard but now with products sold at colleges across the U.S.
 
Tufankjian, now a student at Villanova University, donates 25% of proceeds to Children’s Hospital. You can see his work here.
 
 
 
That’s Need to Knows for today unless you need to know how wild turkeys find love, or why you should avoid Figgy Pudding Spam.
 
 
Our hearts break for the victims of Club Q as well as those who died or were injured in the Brandeis bus crash or while shopping at the Derby Street Shops in Hingham.
 
Have a safe and bountiful Thanksgiving. See you next week.
 
 
Greg Reibman (he, him)
President
Charles River Regional Chamber
617.244.1688
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