THOMPSON: Small Business Saturday

Black Friday is the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season, but with its doorbusters and discounts, I think it’s become of time of grabbing rather than of giving. 

If you’re looking for the holiday spirit, go shopping the next day, Small Business Saturday.  

Small Business Saturday, which is always on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, is a day to find unique gifts and enjoy a level of service you probably won’t find at the national chains, but it’s also a day to help the local shops and restaurants that do so much to help their communities throughout the year. 

Small Business Saturday began 12 years ago as a way to steer shoppers toward Main Street businesses still recovering from the Great Recession. Since then, though, it’s become one of the busiest shopping days of the year. 

Last year, Americans spent a record $23.3 billion in person and online at small, independent shops and restaurants on Small Business Saturday. That’s according to a survey by Small Business Saturday’s founder, American Express, and my group, the National Federation of Independent Business. 

And despite the impact inflation is having on the cost of everything from raw materials to wrapping paper, small business owners are hopeful they’ll set another sales record this weekend. 

After all, spending on Small Business Saturday 2020 still increased a little despite social distancing and other setbacks dictated by the pandemic. 

I think Small Business Saturday has gotten bigger every year because people understand how important independent shops and restaurants are to the local economy and their communities overall. 

Consider this: According to the latest figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 99.6% of all businesses in the state. 

But it goes beyond that. When we shop small, we really are helping our friends and neighbors. 

We help the businesses that support our schools and give to local charities. Small businesses really hold our communities together.  

Also, when we shop at a chain store, the proceeds go to a big corporation headquartered someplace else. But 67 cents of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the community, according to another American Express and NFIB survey. On top of that, every dollar spent at a small business creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as employers and their employees shop at other local businesses.  

Plus, when you shop at a small business, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the owner, someone with a vested interest in turning the casual holiday shopper into a regular customer who’ll come back throughout the year.  

North Carolina’s economy is built on its small businesses. That’s why I’m asking everyone to shop small on Saturday, Nov. 26. When we help small businesses, we help everyone.   

Gregg Thompson is the North Carolina state director of the National Federation of Independent Business. 

By Gregg Thompson

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Posts

No widgets found. Go to Widget page and add the widget in Offcanvas Sidebar Widget Area.