Small Business Saturday.

Small Business Saturday is this weekend (November 30th). Tomorrow in fact! It is sponsored by American Express, in fact if you use your American Express card at qualifying small businesses on Saturday you can receive a $10 credit back on your bill with a purchase of at least $10 (see website for more info). I am not being compensated in anyway for this post, I just think this is a great cause because local ‘mom and pop’ businesses need your support. So make sure you get out there this holiday season and shop local! And every season for that matter. Small towns and rural communities rely on small businesses and those businesses rely on YOU. Plus, local is always better anyways. You know who made it, you know it’s done right, and you know you’ve supported your community. It’s great to see such a large company out there advocating for small businesses and promoting buying local!

And for all you small business owners out there, if you visit the website you will find many tools and resources. There are printable signs personalized to your business, logos, promotions items, social media/email templates, and much more. In fact in the last couple of months there was a sign-up for a free rug and reusable shopping bags for small businesses.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with their family and friends. And I hope you find great deals today on Black Friday. But as you’re out rushing around at the big-box stores grabbing good deals; remember those locally ran businesses and shop there tomorrow!

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www.smallbusinesssaturday.com or www.facebook.com/smallbusinesssaturday

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South Dakota ‘Atlas’ Blizzard.

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During the government shutdown, the 122 National Weather Service forecast office across the country were still operating,  issuing potentially life-saving forecasts and warnings. Like most other federal workers during the shutdown, the NWS meteorologists were not getting paid. Not only did the meteorologists work for no pay, they had to deal with some truly exceptional weather conditions this past weekend that have posed forecasting challenges and even put them in harm’s way. A record-breaking early season blizzard struck a number of states from the northern Rockies to the Northern High Plains on October 4-5, dumping as much as 4 feet of snow and piling the snow into drifts up to 10 feet high in places. (source) Winds whipped through the area at 80mph.

It started with rain that turned everything wet and muddy, including the cows. Then the cold, the snow, and the wind came. Freezing everything and leaving it buried in snow. Including the cows and calves. It breaks my heart.

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Sure, some ranchers have insurance. But not everyone, and certainly not everyone who is will have “winter peril” coverage added. It’s not like car insurance, people. It’s expensive, so many different “add-ons” that make it very expensive, and many loopholes that make it almost impossible to be fully protected. There was a lack of news coverage and a lack of assistance from the government, because you know it was “shutdown”. When the people needed help the most, the government wasn’t there. Should a farm bill really even be a question?

People were stranded, they weren’t able to get to their livestock for days. The numbers are still coming in, still rising but the number of cattle (and other livestock) lost is upward of 60,000. You don’t just get to go “buy more cows”. The foundation is gone along with years of hardwork. Farmers had to dig through feet of snow to find their cattle, just to cut off their ear tags to keep their death count accurate. Their loss is estimated to be tens of millions of dollars.

This was a horrible tragedy. But you can help. There have been many relief funds set up for these ranchers. One way you can help is by buying this sweatshirt. Not only will you being helping the ranchers and showing your pride, it’s cute.

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We’re all in this together. Our prayers go out to you. God bless.

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