Ridgeland, Miss. (WJTV) – As millions of Americans cross items off their Christmas lists, it’s a good idea to remember that locally owned businesses are the backbone of our community. Spending money close to home pays off in a variety of ways.

Shoehorned between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the City of Ridgeland is getting ready for Small Business Saturday (11/30/19).

Mayor Gene McGee explains, “We are trying to emphasize to the local Mom and Pop stores, the small businesses that are here. They’re the ones we’re really trying to emphasize right now.”

Local retailers are putting the finishing touches on a variety of deals, but you’ll get more than a good price in this bargain.

Mayor McGee says, “One is we need to support our local businesses. They’re the ones that build the bricks and mortar. They pay the local taxes. They support the local sports teams. When we want somebody to give us a sponsorship, buy an ad in an annual at our school, all those things are supported by local business.”

Still, the ease and allure of online shopping with its endless inventory can be hard to resist.

To that, Mayor McGee responds, “Shooing locally means you are supporting your community. When you are shopping on line, obviously, you are not, and I know that, that seems to be convenient sometimes, but again it’s important to shop locally because that’s what pays our bills.”

And you don’t have to pay for shipping or worry if your gift is going to make it on time. Plus you might be surprised what you can turn up in your own back yard. Mayor McGee concludes, “We have great shops. A lot of great businesses here and great restaurants. That’s another thing we need to promote. Eating locally, as we feel we have some of the best.”

So think small this Saturday. It’s the neighborly thing to do.

If you are shopping in Ridgeland, you might notice the towering tree in the Plaza at Old Town Crossing.

The Second Annual Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony is set for December 5th, that’s next Thursday at 6 p.m.