In between the big box holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday, celebrating its 10th anniversary. Created to help small businesses capture a larger piece of the critical holiday season spending, this nationally recognized day celebrates the incredible contributions that small businesses make to their local communities and to the American economy.
Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been a formal cosponsor of Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express the year prior. In 2018, an estimated 104 million U.S. consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday. According to an NFIB survey, last year, U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday spent a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion in sales generated that day. Since its inception, Small Business Saturday consumer spending has now reached an estimated $103 billion.
It’s no secret that small businesses across New Jersey create two out of every three net new jobs and are vital to the health of our local economy. Many of those owners are small retailers and merchants who may be entering their very first holiday season and are offering a new opportunity to shop small. It’s also important to remember that, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community. So when you Shop Small on Small Business Saturday — and throughout the year — it can have a big economic impact on where you shop and live.
While many of us are making plans for our holiday shopping, I encourage everyone to make sure you include visiting local small businesses to find those perfect gifts for family and friends. Visit your favorite stores, and a few new ones, to show your support for small businesses. And don’t forget to post your experiences to social media — using #shopsmall. Of course, all that shopping will make you hungry, so make sure you choose to eat at a locally owned restaurant and keep supporting your community.
On Nov. 30, I encourage everyone to join in by getting out and shopping small. Show your love and support for the small shops and restaurants that make up the very fabric of your local communities. Supporting our small businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year ensures their success, which will help grow and sustain vibrant and thriving downtowns across New Jersey for many years to come.
Al Titone is the district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s New Jersey District Office.