’Tis the season to shop small (businesses)

Al Titone is retiring from the SBA. (File photo)

Small businesses possess the power to propel local economies and uplift communities. When we open our wallets and shop small, we’re supporting small businesses that create two out of three net new jobs and employ more than half of the country’s private workforce.

As the holiday shopping season kicks off, let’s recommit in honoring our neighborhood champions, America’s small businesses. Saturday, Nov. 25, is Small Business Saturday — a day to celebrate and support small businesses for all they contribute to our communities.

On this particular Saturday, do your part to support jobs and economic growth in your own backyard. Visit your Main Street merchants to find unique, handmade gifts that you won’t find at a big-box retailer. In New Jersey, there are a little over 70,000 small retailers who employ a total of 159,000 workers, which accounts for 35 percent of the retail employment throughout the state.

And, after a long day of shopping, think about dining at a local restaurant, too. It’s a fact that 9 in 10 restaurants have fewer than 50 employees. Like retailers, small restaurants contribute mightily to our local economy. The restaurant industry employs 14.7 million Americans and generates $799 billion in sales annually.

Shopping small packs a big punch for the U.S. economy. Did you know that, last year, there were 112 million consumers who decided to shop small on Saturday? That single day translated into $15.4 billion in sales for small business owners across America.

Indeed, Main Street businesses are critical to our nation’s success, and supporting New Jersey-based retail shops and restaurants during Small Business Saturday is an act of economic patriotism. To continue the entrepreneurial spirit of small businesses, please join me and the U.S. Small Business Administration in shopping and dining small on Saturday, Nov. 25.

For more information about Small Business Saturday, please visit https://www.sba.gov/saturday and #ShopSmall.