Why Supporting Small Business Saturday is So Important this Year

Author: Jacqueline DeMarco | November 24, 2020

Countless consumers look forward to snagging deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday every year. Small business owners on the other hand, eagerly await the Saturday in between those days. Small Business Saturday provides an opportunity for consumers to support small businesses during a time of year where many business owners need a little extra support. Their deals may not be as flashy as your favorite big box retailer, but shopping with small businesses can make such a positive impact, especially this year when many small businesses are struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is Small Business Saturday?

In 2010, during the Great Recession, American Express created a campaign designed to help support the small businesses that are such a vital part of all of our communities. The campaign centered around a concept called Small Business Saturday. The idea being that on the Saturday directly after Thanksgiving, consumers focus on shopping small while checking off their holiday gift list. The cause was celebrated by shoppers and small business owners alike and a decade later the movement is still going strong. 

Every year, small business owners open their shops and drive traffic to their websites while offering deals on both products and services that make great holiday gifts. Some neighborhoods with many small businesses bind together to create events surrounding their sales and others run online promotions so you can shop your favorite small businesses from anywhere in the world.

Why Shop Small Business Saturday?

Thanks to the internet, you can now shop with small businesses from around the world. But one of the main intentions behind the Small Business Saturday movement was to shop local businesses. When you do so, you help not only support the business owner, but your community as a whole. Your purchases can help create local employment opportunities, bring tax dollars to your neighborhood, and can make it possible for those small businesses to give support back to the community. 

When you make a purchase from a small business, you help provide job opportunities. Employment wise, for every ten jobs that exist at a small business, another seven are supported within the same community. Small businesses generate two of every three net new jobs, so their employment contributions should not be overlooked. 

For every dollar spent at a local small business, about 67 cents stays within the community. These contributions go past tax dollars, as many small businesses support local events, sports teams, and charities. The ripple effect of shopping at small businesses goes so much farther than many people realize. While this may sound a bit cheesy—it is the holidays after all—when you shop small you’re making someone’s dreams come true. You’re helping a small business owner reap the rewards of their hard work and determination, you may be giving a parent flexibility while they raise their children, or you might be supporting a lifelong passion that is finally a reality for the business owner. 

Why is Small Business Saturday So Important This Year?

While shopping local businesses is always important, in 2020 shopping small is vital. 91% of consumers believe that supporting small businesses is more important than ever this holiday season. Luckily, 83% of consumers plan to do some of their holiday shopping at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant, whether that be in person or online. 

The coronavirus pandemic left its mark on small businesses very quickly. A report from the Facebook & Small Business Roundtable found that by mid-April, approximately a third of small businesses had stopped operating temporarily and just one month later more than half of small businesses laid off or furloughed employees. Some experts estimate that 1.4 million to 2.1 million (25 to 36 percent) of small businesses could close permanently because of the disruption caused by the first four months of the pandemic. 

As the pandemic continues to wage on, local restrictions continue to put limits on how businesses operate and many consumers face economic losses, so it’s easy to see how small businesses may continue to struggle. That being said, it’s not too late to make a difference. American Express found that in order to stay in business, 62% of U.S. small businesses need to see consumer spending return to pre-pandemic levels by the end of this year. Holiday shopping can help them bounce back. 

This year, Small Business Saturday will take place on November 28, 2020. By shopping small on Small Business Saturday throughout the holiday season and on a regular basis, you can help make a difference for small business owners, their employees, and your community. 

 

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