There’s no denying it: American consumers are spending more money online than ever before. It seems like people have become fatigued by long Black Friday lines, and are buying holiday gifts on Amazon and other online platforms. But despite the shift in how we spend our money, there’s reason to be optimistic about our local small businesses. Over the past five years, there’s been incredible momentum around Small Business Saturday, with no signs of slowing down.
What is Small Business Saturday, anyhow?
American Express founded Small Business Saturday in 2010 to encourage consumers to “think small” as they “spend big” during the holidays. The new shopping tradition occurs every Saturday after Thanksgiving and before Cyber Monday.
As the campaign builds momentum, more people are indeed shopping locally. An annual survey found a 15% increase in the number of consumers that “shopped small” on Small Business Saturday in 2014 compared to the year prior.
Why Shop Small?
You’ve probably heard it before: small businesses are “the backbone of our economy,” and the “engines of American prosperity.”
Putting clichés aside for a moment, we find that small businesses really are critical to the national economy. First, small businesses employ over half of the private-sector workforce. They’re also responsible for creating 2/3 of the nation’s net new jobs over the last 15 years. As a result, making purchases at small businesses supports local hiring by directly supporting their growth.
Second, an estimated $68 out of every $100 at a small business stays in the local economy through taxes, payroll and other expenses. Compare this to national retailers, where just $43 of every $100 remains local. Or worse, shopping online, which contributes close to $0 to the local economy.
“In an uncertain economy, America’s small businesses have remained a beacon — creating good jobs and supporting the families they employ and the communities around them,” explains the CEO of the National Federation of Independent Businesses.
What can you do?
If you plan on shopping during the holiday season, consider buying at a local retailer. Small Business Saturday is TODAY, November 26th!!! American Express has created this handy tool to help you discover all the wonderful small businesses near you.