Shopping at local small businesses is one of the biggest ways you can directly impact your community. Americans believe this and act upon it often. Ninety percent of consumers surveyed in the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey believe in the importance of supporting small businesses and shop at one at least once every week. Not to mention that according to the Small Business Administration, the United States was home to 30.2 million small business (defined as a company with fewer than 500 employees) in 2017. According to the SBA, small business also…
- generate 54% of all sales
- account for 64% of net new private-sector jobs
- make up 99.7% of all employers
- account for 33% of exporting value
Based on those statistics alone, you can see how important small businesses are to the American economy. And while you’ve likely heard of Small Business Saturday, did you know it started as a campaign to boost communities during the recession? Keep reading for a brief history of the holiday and the impact it can have on your community.
8 years of Small Business Saturday
In 2010, small businesses were struggling to recover from the economic recession of 2008. American Express saw this and took time to think of a way to help boost business for these shops during the holiday season. The concept of Small Business Saturday was created. That year, November 27 marked the first recognized Small Business Saturday. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday— arguably the two largest consumer holidays each year— the first Small Business Saturday was born.
Then, in 2011, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution recognizing Small Business Saturday as well as “supporting efforts to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses.” That same year, American Express and WIPP teamed up to form the National Small Business Saturday Coalition. The Saturday after Thanksgiving ever since has marked a day of community support for small business owners. (You can even follow the movement on the Shop Small Instagram!)
The United Kingdom followed suit in 2013, christening December 7 of that year the first Small Business Saturday UK. The holiday quickly received national support and the most successful campaign in 2017 saw roughly £748 million spent.
The impact of shopping small
Since Small Business Saturday was created, consumers in the United States have spent an estimated $85 billion at independent companies. Keep in mind this total is from one day each year over the span of 8 years. Now imagine the impact those same customers could make choosing to spend their money at a small business, creating a tangible difference in the communities in which we live.
Here’s a two big reasons you should save your Black Friday money to spend on Saturday shopping small.
- Community support. Shopping small supports business that use that money to support the local community. Compared to larger businesses, small business donate 250% more funds to nonprofits and community causes. Plus, successful local businesses mean increased job opportunities in that community. In 2017 alone, small businesses are said to have added 9 million net new jobs in 2017 alone.
- Local economic support. In addition to creating new jobs, small businesses can have a larger impact in their community than most large corporations. Seattle Good Business Network explains the breakdown of cash spent locally this way:
“When you spend $100 with a local, independent business, most of that money stays here, paying for local services, supplies staff, and sometimes inventory. Those businesses then spend most of that money with other local businesses…Your $100 has just multiplied, each transaction creating on average three times more income, jobs and wealth for your community.”
This year, Small Business Saturday falls on November 24. Consider saving some of your Black Friday shopping until then and see what your local independent shops have to offer. Here are our team’s favorite Twin Cities small businesses to get you started. Happy shopping; your community thanks you for your support!