Shop Small Campaign Begins in Silver Spring (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

With the busiest shopping time of the year around the corner, government officials are reminding residents to shop local and to shop small during the holiday season.

On Nov. 24, Maria Contreras-Sweet, the administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and member of President Barack Obama’s cabinet, visited Americana Grocery Store in Silver Spring to encourage people to shop at local businesses on Nov. 29, which is also known as Small Business Saturday.

“We picked a community grocery store because we thought it was so important to remind Americans all across country that when we think of small businesses, small businesses come in so many different forms,” Contreras-Sweet said.

The initiative is a national campaign dedicated to support local businesses and to strengthen the economy.

According to Contreras-Sweet, the SBA directs 23 percent of federal spending to invest in local businesses. Money that was able to help Joe Rodriguez more than 30 years ago.

Rodriguez, who is the owner of Americana Grocery store, received a $100,000 loan from SBA and was able to open the family’s first grocery store.

“It’s my firm belief that, in this country, opportunities are like low fruit you can just pick up of the tree. So, all you have to do basically is work hard and try to get it,” Rodriguez said.

According to a county official, there are 33,000 small businesses in Montgomery County that employ over 15 people.

“We want to get our businesses to grow, to stay in Montgomery County and to increase employees. So this is working very well with SBA,” said DeVance Walker, manager at the Montgomery County Department of Economic and Development.

U.S. Representative Chris Van Hollen said partnerships between the federal and state government is proof that when “you work together everyone can succeed.”

“Here’s an example of a great local business,” he said.

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Aline Barros

About Aline Barros

Aline Barros is a multimedia reporter and community engagement specialist with Montgomery Community Media. She can be reached at and on Twitter at @AlineBarros2.


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