I often talk about how I spent several years as a small business owner. My wife and I owned and operated first one, then two frozen yogurt stores. We've sold them, but after that experience I always try to support other small businesses when I can.
Nothing against the big stores. They give you a good price, and they employ a lot of people. I still shop there.
But, don't you just love the great service you get at the small stores? I walk into my local hardware store, and within seconds somebody asks if they can help me. The owner might just live in my neighborhood, and is probably working 7 days a week, 12 hours a day like I did for so many years. They're not getting rich, and they pay their employees a good wage. To me that's worth the extra dollar I might have to spend.
photo: GKChest Wikimedia Commons