If you’ve been watching a lot of news lately about the economy, you might think all hope is lost. In the past month the stock market has tumbled, then recovered a bit, only to nosedive again. And again. It’s kind of like a yo-yo, only with our financial future attached to the string.

In this same month, I also made a decision. I can worry about where I’ll be in a year or five or ten, or I can focus on the things that I can do, both as a consumer and a business owner, to help improve the economy. One of the things I’m trying to do—and I’m encouraging everyone to do—is to support small businesses.

Here’s where I make the necessary confession: yes, I own a small business; of course, I’d love to have more support! But I’m not just talking about myself. There are more than 27 million small businesses in the U.S. Did you know that according to recent statistics, about half of private sector employees work for small businesses; more than 45% of private payroll is paid by small businesses; and 60-80% of net new jobs over the past decade have been generated by small businesses?

What those stats tell me is that even though the focus has been squarely on Wall Street in recent weeks, we have to remember that our economy also depends on small, privately owned businesses. We have to remember that more than 75% of those small businesses are single-person businesses, many of them women, and that many of the remaining 25% have fewer than 20 employees. What this means to me is that a dollar spent with these businesses goes to a person, a small group of people, and ultimately a community, rather than a faceless corporation. And I dig that!

In the coming days, I’m going to show you what I’m doing as a business to work with and support other small businesses. (The photo is a teaser—one of our Limited Edition Holiday Gift Sets—and yes, that IS a Dolly bag!) I’m also going to share all of my favorite places to shop with small businesses so you can do it, too! Please share your comments to let us all know what you think of small businesses, and share your favorite places to shop with them!