Do you know how Small Business Saturday® got its start? Started in 2010 by American Express, this is an effort to encourage consumers to shop at their local small businesses on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Small businesses are said to create half the jobs in the private sector, and those who shop at their local small businesses are helping to stimulate the local economy. One study has shown that $45 of every $100 spent at small, local businesses stays in the local economy. Also, according to the U.S. Business Administration as of last year there were nearly 28 million small businesses in the U.S. and they created 65% of net new jobs.
Don’t fight the crowds
What are some other reasons to shop Small Business Saturday? One of the key benefits to you is that this means shopping locally for your holiday gifts, and not fighting insane crowds to do so. There is no need to hunt down items from various department stores and pull your hair out trying to be the next in line to get the best deals on Black Friday. While Black Friday consumers will be scrambling to find their items before the big-box stores sell out, consumers who shop Small Business Saturday will find that it’s easier to find what they are looking for without the concern that it will fly off the shelf. This is because products outside of the mainstream are typically easier to stock, and many small local businesses will be happy to special order anything they may not currently have in stock.
Keep your dollars in your local community
What about helping the local economy? How does that apply to you? Well, when you shop Small Business Saturday,besides supporting the individual small businesses, you are adding to the local tax revenue. This money is used for many things, such as the improvement of roads, public schools, sidewalks and parks. Public service workers such as police officers and firefighters also benefit from those tax dollars spent at small, local businesses. Local small businesses also help their neighboring industries. They open accounts at local banks, and hire local CPAs and attorneys. When they need supplies they find them at a store down the street rather than getting them in bulk from a corporate warehouse.
Last year, over 100 million consumers came out to shop Small Business Saturday. This year, businesses and participants are looking forward to it being even bigger. Retailers, along with sponsor American Express, are hoping that “Small Business Saturday” becomes synonymous with “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday”. Small businesses are said to be the backbone of local communities, and by choosing to shop small businesses for holiday items, we are showing support to the types of companies that built entrepreneurship in America.