The holidays are upon us, and shopping for gifts and goodies has begun. You might already have everything you need, wrapped and stowed away. But if not, or if you need to look for just a few more treasures and treats, remember that Small Business Saturday is coming up on November 24, just after Thanksgiving. By making a point to shop on that particular Saturday, you’ll be doing much more than just finishing off your list. You’ll be making a difference.
On Shop Small Day 2017, over 108 million consumers patronized small businesses. This always includes restaurants, retailers, and more. Last year marked a 15 percent increase from the year before. Additionally, total spending among U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reached $12 billion, an increase of 14 percent from the prior $10.3 billion.
For many small businesses, the holiday season is their largest sales opportunity. The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally considered to be the beginning of the Christmas holiday shopping season. During this time, a quarter of all personal spending takes place. The Friday after Thanksgiving has become known as Black Friday, with most major retailers offering early sales to their customers, and often opening as early as 4 AM. Black Friday is described as the busiest shopping day of the year. American Express created Small Business Saturday, and it has become a very popular American shopping occasion. First celebrated on November 27, 2010, it is the counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday. In contrast, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to patronize independently owned small businesses and to buy local rather than going to the big box stores or buying online.
In 2011, the US Senate proclaimed Shop Small an official day. By 2013, 1,450 neighborhoods celebrated the day as champions of their communities, increasing to 7,200 neighborhoods by 2017. Last year, shoppers supported their neighborhood businesses like never before. We spent $12 billion at small independent businesses on that day. Among those who shopped, 32% reported attending a community event, and 81% reported encouraging friends or family to shop or dine at small, independently-owned retailers and restaurants on this shopping holiday, as well. So this year on Shop Small Day, November 24th, go out and support our small businesses.
When you buy from a local small business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl start dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a Mom or Dad put food on the table, a family pay the mortgage, a student pay for college.
Let’s make this a joyful and profitable holiday season for our businesses and all our families. Working together we can accomplish great things.