Each year countless consumers look forward to snagging deals on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Small business owners, on the other hand, eagerly await the Saturday in between those days. Small Business Saturday allows consumers to support small businesses during a time of year when many could benefit from a little extra support. Their deals may not be as flashy as your favorite big-box retailers, but shopping small can have a huge impact on a small business—especially amidst a 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 vital parts of our communities. The campaign created a movement called Small Business Saturday. Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, the campaign encouraged consumers to focus on shopping small while checking off their holiday gift list. The cause was celebrated by shoppers and small business owners alike, and 12 years later, the movement is still going strong.
Every year, small business owners open their shops and drive traffic to their websites by offering deals on both products and services that make great holiday gifts. Some neighborhood small businesses band together to create events surrounding their sales, and others run online promotions so you can shop your favorite small businesses from the comfort of your home.
Why Shop Small Business Saturday?
Thanks to the internet, you can now shop with small businesses regardless of your location, but one of the main purposes of Small Business Saturday was to encourage consumers to shop with local businesses. When you shop locally, you help support both small business owners and your greater community as a whole. Your purchases can help create local employment opportunities, bring tax dollars to your neighborhood, and make it possible for those small businesses to give back to the community.
When you purchase from a small business, you help provide job opportunities. For every 10 jobs that exist at a small business, another seven are supported within the same community. Small businesses also generate two out of every three net new jobs, so shopping locally with a small business can have a big impact.
For every dollar spent at a local small business, roughly 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.
When you shop small, you’re helping a small business owner realize the rewards of their hard work and determination. You may be giving a parent flexibility while raising their children, or you might be supporting a lifelong passion for the business owner.
Why is Small Business Saturday So Important This Year?
While shopping with local businesses is always important, it’s even more critical now, as many small businesses are still struggling to recover from a challenging couple of years due to the pandemic.
The coronavirus pandemic quickly impacted small businesses. A report from the Facebook & Small Business Roundtable found that within the first month of quarantine, approximately one-third of small businesses had temporarily stopped operating, and just one month later, more than half of small businesses were forced to lay off or furlough employees.
Now, with brick-and-mortar businesses ready and eager to welcome in-person shoppers once again, a strong consumer showing this holiday season could be just the thing local small businesses need to get back on track.
According to the American Express Shop Small Impact survey, 56% of small businesses surveyed say this year’s Small Business Saturday is their most critical one yet. A whopping 78% say their 2021 holiday sales will impact their ability to keep their doors open in 2022. It’s estimated that consumers have the potential to contribute $695B into the U.S. small business economy by shopping small this holiday season, highlighting the tremendous impact shopping small can have on the industry.
This year, Small Business Saturday will take place on November 27, 2021. By shopping small, both on Small Business Saturday and on a regular basis, you can help make a difference for small business owners, their employees, and your community.