The 11th Annual Small Business Saturday falls on November 28th. Started by American Express in 2010 in response to the Great Rescission. The Saturday following Thanksgiving is designated as Small Business Saturday as a reminder to celebrate and support small local businesses. The Senate first passed a resolution in 2011 and in 2015 the event officially became co-sponsored by the SBA.
By the Numbers
The SBA 2019 Small Business Profile reported 30.7 million small businesses in America. These firms employed 59.9 million people (47.3% of the private workforce) and created 1.8 million net jobs in 2016.
Thanksgiving weekend, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday is historically the largest shopping weekend of the year with 189.9 million consumers spending $68.9 billion in 2019. Based on the American Express and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, Small Business Saturday outperformed the two other shopping holidays in 2019 with Americans spending $19.6 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday, compared to $5.4 billion on Black Friday and $9.2 billion on Cyber Monday. Since the start of Small Business Saturday in 2010, American Express reports consumer spending an estimated $120 billion over the last 10 years.
The outbreak of COVID-19 in spring prompted many communities to enact stay-at-home orders, which resulted in businesses shutting down. Beginning March 1, Yelp started tracking business closures and identified 163,735 U.S. businesses closed through August 31, with 97,966 of these permanently closed. The Yelp: Local Economic Impact Report also shows that while restaurant and retail businesses have taken the brunt of stay-at-home orders, other business and personal services remain resilient and some even thriving.
Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker identifies U.S. Consumer Spending as one of the variables from COVID-19 Recovery resource. The stay-at-home orders caused consumer spending to drop substantially, but with the reopening of communities came a slow and steady increase in consumer spending. As we see COVID-19 cases throughout the United States reach historic highs this fall, the impact on consumer expenditures this Thanksgiving weekend remains to be seen. While some consulting firms project varying scenarios of consumers spending this holiday season, Small Business Saturday presents the opportunity to capture some of the revenue lost in spring.
2020 Small Business Saturday
As part of their Shop Small initiative, American Express once again supports small businesses owners on Small Business Saturday and throughout the holiday season as they adapt to a “new normal.” Among resources available, this year American Express provides a Safe Shopping Guide to help small businesses ready their operations to create a safe shopping and dining experience for their customers this holiday season and into 2021.
Additional resources for making the most out of Small Business Saturday are available from various sources:
- NFIB: How to Market Your Business for Small Business Saturday
- Bankrate: Small Business Saturday 2020: Ultimate Guide for Small Business Owners
- MOZ: Supporting Small Business Saturday with 2020-Conscious Marketing
- U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Making the Most of Small Business Saturday
The SBA provides a Social Media Guide with notable facts to include in social media posts. Be sure to visit SBDCNet for resources on adapting your business for COVID-19, selling online for small business, and small business reopening guide.
The pandemic has shown the creativity and flexibility of entrepreneurs to pivot in a constantly evolving landscape. Through their agility, small businesses can be resilient and positioned to adapt. Small Business Saturday presents the opportunity to keep your business top of mind with the local community for years to come.
Additional Small Business Resources
Already in business or thinking about starting your own small business? Check out our various small business resources:
- View our COVID-19 Resources here: COVID-19 Small Business Resources and COVID-19 Industry Resources
- View more small business help topics here: Small Business Information Center
- View business reports here: Small Business Snapshots
- View industry-specific research here: Market Research Links
Remember, you can also receive free professional business advice and free or low-cost business training from your local Small Business Development Center!
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