November 30th marks the 10th Annual Small Business Saturday. Positioned as part of the busiest shopping season, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday following Thanksgiving. Started in 2010 by American Express the day promotes small businesses to holiday shoppers by encouraging consumers to shop local and to increase awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses on the U.S. economy. The Senate first passed a resolution in support of “Small Business Saturday” in 2011 and in 2015 the event officially became co-sponsored by the SBA.
By the Numbers
According to the 2018 Small Business Profile from the SBA, there are 30.2 million small businesses in America. These firms employ 58.9 million people (47.5% of the private workforce) and created 1.9 million net jobs in 2015.
The National Retail Federation (NRF) identifies the top shopping holidays, with the Winter Holidays as the time when consumer spending is the highest. As part of the Winder Holidays, “Thanksgiving weekend” starts on Thanksgiving and runs for five days through Cyber Monday. NRF reports retailers estimate 165.3 million people will take part in the 2019 Thanksgiving weekend. In 2018, more than 165 million Americans shopped Thanksgiving Weekend with more than 89 million people shopping both online and in stores. The average spending on gifts and other holiday items was $313.29 and the biggest spenders were older millennials and Gen Xers.
Produced by the National Federation of Independent Business for American Express, The 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey reports that 104 million shoppers spent $17.8 billion. The survey reported that 41% of Small Business Saturday consumers shopped online and with a growing number of online purchases made via smartphones, small business owners should keep in mind to offer a mobile-ready shopping platform.
2019 Small Businesses Saturday
American Express provides information for small businesses and consumers to engage in Small Business Saturday with an action plan and event planning checklist. An article in the Tampa Bay Small Business Journal offers readers ideas to help promote Small Business Saturday. Forbes published an in-depth article with a slew of analytics on 2018 Black Friday and Cyber Monday, offering insights into the shopping behaviors of Thanksgiving weekend consumers. Preparation is key for having a successful Small Business Saturday and one of our favorite pieces of advice comes from Entrepreneur, “prioritize customer service.” Several large retailers and foodservice establishments are the embodiment of customer service. As a small business, customer service is a low-cost strategy to level the playing field.
Want to get engaged as a consumer? American Express provides information for consumers to find local small businesses near you. Buying locally supports your community by growing the immediate economy (both directly and indirectly) while supporting your neighbors. The American Express Small Business Economic Impact Study offers a more detailed breakdown. The report states that for every $1 spent at a small business 67 cents stays in the local community and every $1 spent at a small business creates an additional 50 cent impact for the local economy.
Consumers can also support Small Business Saturday by encouraging others to #ShopSmall. When shopping on Saturday, November 30th at your favorite neighborhood small business, remember to post on social media. American Express identifies some hashtags and the SBA provides a Social Media Guide with notable facts to include in social media posts.
As a key part of America, we are thankful for all the small businesses and the impact they have on the U.S. economy.
Already in business or thinking about starting your own small business? Check out our various small business resources:
- View 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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