Torrow is "Small Business Saturday": a day when you are encouraged to shop at and support your small local retailers. When you shop local businesses, don't exclude franchises just because they are part of larger chains. Remember, the vast majority of franchises ARE small businesses.

One of the things that gets lost in the shop local movement is that people forget that their neighborhood chain stores are owned locally. That chain burger restaurant you like so much. That specialty chain store that sells spices, olive oil, and vinegars. That delicious frozen yogurt chain. What do these franchise shops have in common? They are owned by your neighbors -- people who live and work in your community, who support your local economy by providing jobs and spending money in your hometown.

So, by all means, do "shop small" tomorrow -- but don't ignore those locally-owned franchises.