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The Tonica News / • Friday, November 23, 2018



Jim Dunn

Rita Roberts

Editor, General Manager

Associate Editor

The Tonica News

To make a big impact, shop local, shop small Support your local businesses on Small Business Saturday


lack Friday will be here in a few days. It will be crazy. The Friday after Thanksgiving is the beginning of the holiday shopping season. It’s when people get up early, sit in traffic, hunt for a place to park, fight the crowds, and stand in line to buy “doorbusters” that no one in the family may want or use. That’s why I like Small Business Saturday. Small Business Saturday, the next day, is when people go out to support the independent shops and restaurants that support their communities throughout the year. Small business accounts for 99.6 percent of Illinois’ employers, and they employ 45.5 percent of the state’s private sector workforce. While the chain stores are owned

COMMENTARY Mark Grant by Wall Street investors, the independent shops and restaurants taking part in Small Business Saturday are owned by and employ our friends and neighbors. They’re the same businesses that support our schools and sports teams and charities throughout the year. NFIB, the nation’s leading small business advocacy organization, points out that shopping small is a lot different than shopping big. Instead of dealing with harried part-timers hired to help out at the big-box stories over the holidays, you stand a good chance of dealing directly with the owner of the business on Small Business Saturday. You’ll be served by someone who actually cares whether you find the thing you’re looking for and wants you to come back all year long.

Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as a marketing campaign launched by American Express to promote small businesses, but as state director of NFIB in Illinois, I know Small Business Saturday isn’t a gimmick. NFIB believes that Small Business Saturday is a good reminder to #ShopSmall and support the local businesses that keep our communities strong. It’s also a great way to save money on unique gifts and gift cards to unique businesses your friends and family won’t find at the mall or online. According to a survey by NFIB and American Express, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion at independently owned businesses on last year’s Small Business Saturday. The survey said 43 percent of U.S. adults shopped or ate small on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Most of those people said they shopped or ate at more than one independent business. You wouldn’t think something as modest as Small Business Saturday would have such a major impact,

“You wouldn’t think something as modest as Small Business Saturday would have such a major impact, but it does.” Mark Grant state director, NFIB in Illinois

but it does. When you shop local and shop small, you’re supporting your friends and neighbors. You’re supporting your community. When you shop at a chain store, most of the money goes to some corporate office somewhere, but when you shop on Main Street, most of that money stays on Main Street. This year, make a difference in your community: Shop local on Small Business Saturday.

Note to readers: Mark Grant of Springfield is state director of NFIB (National Federation of Independent Business) in Illinois.

Speaker Madigan off-base in his analysis of election results Rauner and GOP losses don’t mean speaker is a success


ike Madigan is a man in love. The usually stoic Illinois speaker of the House is smitten. And last week, he didn’t even try to hide who he holds dear. The object of his affections? Why, it is himself, of course. I’ve never encountered a news release quite so full of self-adulation and gloating as the one Madigan issued through the Democratic Party of Illinois, which he leads: “Last night’s election results definitively proved that the [Bruce] Rauner Republican playbook of attempting to make the entire 2018 election a referendum on Speaker Madigan, to distract from Republicans’ record, is a failure. Rauner and the Republican

COMMENTARY Scott Reeder Party spent several years and hundreds of millions of dollars focused on tearing down one man, and last night that strategy definitively failed for Republicans up and down the ballot who joined in the effort.” OK, it’s a little weird that he talks about himself in the third person. But all the same, we get the message: He’s sticking it in the eye of his arch nemesis, Gov. Bruce Rauner, who was defeated last week. And, yes, Bruce Rauner is a failure. But just because your foe fails, doesn’t mean you’re a success. Mike Madigan’s news release was the equivalent of him running on the street and hollering: “People really like me.”

Look, Illinois Republicans had a rough election. The reasons are many, but here are a few: a GOP president unpopular in the Chicago suburbs, a Republican Party unable to unite after a bruising gubernatorial primary, an unpopular governor at the top of the ballot and getting outspent 3 to 1 by J.B. “Big Bucks” Pritzker. None of these things equates to Mike Madigan being popular. In fact, last year, a poll conducted by Southern Illinois University’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute found that 61 percent of Illinoisans disapprove of Mike Madigan and 58 percent disapproved of Bruce Rauner. Voters rendered a judgment Nov. 6 that had “damned if you do” edging out “damned if you don’t.” But Madigan said this of Rauner’s efforts: “It failed because Speaker Madigan and the Democratic Party of Illinois are champions of smart

economic and social policies that better the lives of Illinoisans and create a state that works for all of us.” Huh? Illinois has the worst credit rating in the nation, and has an unfunded pension liability of $250 billion, according to Moody’s. The state is on the brink of insolvency. Over the past 40 years, both Republicans and Democrats have contributed to this fiscal mess. But the common denominator during those four decades is Mike Madigan. His fingerprints are on nearly every vote that has contributed to Illinois’ fiscal death spiral. To say Mike Madigan has exhibited “smart economic policies” is silly. For Madigan to claim such is an exercise in self-delusion.

Note to readers: Scott Reeder, a veteran statehouse journalist, works as a freelance reporter in the Springfield area. His email address is

First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

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