In the whirlwind of holiday shopping that follows Thanksgiving, amidst the chaos of discounts and deals from big-box retailers, there’s a gem of a day that stands out for its significance beyond mere consumerism. Small Business Saturday, celebrated on the Saturday after Thanksgiving each year, isn’t just a catchy event name—it’s a movement that holds immense value for local economies, communities, and the heartbeat of entrepreneurial dreams.
Founded by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the US Small Business Association (SBA) since 2011, Small Business Saturday has grown into an essential fixture of the holiday shopping season. Its mission is simple yet impactful: to urge consumers to redirect their purchasing power from mega-corporations to locally-owned businesses. The ripple effects of this shift are profound and tangible, creating a seismic impact on the vitality of local communities.
Small Business Saturday 2022
The statistics from the 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey by American Express speak volumes. An astounding 72% of shoppers expressed intentions to patronize small, independent retailers and restaurants throughout the year. This dedication isn’t merely seasonal; it’s a commitment to fostering sustainable local economies.
In 2022, Small Business Saturday spurred an estimated $17.9 billion in spending. In addition to indicating an impressive number, the amount represents livelihoods, dreams, and the heartbeat of communities across the nation. Furthermore, every dollar spent at small businesses generates an additional $0.48 in local business activity, amplifying the significance of each purchase made at these establishments.
The impact of Small Business Saturday transcends monetary value. It’s a celebration of diversity, individuality, and the unique offerings that local businesses bring to the table. From artisanal crafts to homemade delicacies, these enterprises add flavor and character to communities that are often overshadowed by larger, homogenized chains. Small Business Saturday is about fostering a sense of community. It’s a day when neighborhoods come alive, bustling with activity as shoppers explore the treasures offered by their local retailers. It’s a reminder of the faces behind the storefronts—entrepreneurs pouring their hearts into their businesses, driven by passion and determination.
Shopping local is a conscious decision that reverberates throughout communities, bolstering economic growth, fostering a sense of belonging, and creating a unique tapestry that defines neighborhoods. Here’s a deeper dive into why supporting local businesses is crucial for communities and economic development:
Building Stronger Communities
1. Economic Stability:
When you shop at local businesses, more money stays within the community. The dollars circulated within local economies tend to have a multiplier effect, contributing to the creation of jobs and income opportunities.
2. Preserving Character and Diversity:
Local businesses are often the embodiment of a community’s spirit. They showcase the uniqueness of a place through their offerings, whether it’s a cozy bookstore, a family-owned restaurant serving regional delicacies, or an art gallery promoting local artists. These establishments contribute to the cultural fabric, making each community distinctive.
3. Creating Personal Connections:
Local businesses thrive on building relationships. They often offer personalized services, remembering their customers’ preferences and names. This fosters a sense of belonging and strengthens the bond between businesses and residents, creating a tight-knit community.
4. Supporting Entrepreneurship and Innovation:
Small businesses are often the breeding ground for innovation. They bring fresh ideas, experimentation, and creativity to the marketplace. By supporting them, you encourage an environment conducive to entrepreneurial growth, fostering a culture of innovation within the community.
Economic Development and Sustainability
1. Job Creation:
Small businesses are significant job creators. They employ local residents, thereby reducing unemployment rates and providing livelihoods for families in the community.
2. Tax Revenue and Infrastructure Development:
Local businesses contribute to the tax base, which in turn funds public services such as schools, roads, parks, and emergency services. Strengthening local businesses means strengthening the infrastructure and services available to the community.
3. Environmental Impact:
Shopping locally often means shorter transportation distances for goods, reducing the carbon footprint associated with shipping products across long distances. Supporting local producers can lead to more sustainable and eco-friendly practices.
4. Economic Resilience:
Communities with a diverse array of thriving local businesses are often more resilient in the face of economic downturns. They are less susceptible to external market fluctuations since their economy isn’t reliant on a few major corporations.
Encouraging Local Innovation and Uniqueness
Local businesses are often the heartbeat of innovation and uniqueness within a community. Whether it’s through novel products, specialized services, or unconventional business models, these enterprises contribute to a vibrant marketplace that encourages diversity and creativity. They often cater to niche markets that larger chains might overlook, adding to the richness and variety available to consumers.
Whether you choose to shop at brick-and-mortar stores, explore online boutiques, or spread the word through social media, every action amplifies the collective impact. Here are a few tips to make the most out of Small Business Saturday:
- Plan Ahead: Identify the small businesses you want to support and chart your shopping route.
- Payment Methods: Bring cash or checks, as some smaller businesses may not accept credit cards.
- Patience is Key: Expect larger crowds and potentially longer wait times, but remember, your support is invaluable.
- Spread the Word: Share your Small Business Saturday experiences on social media and encourage others to join in supporting local businesses.
Small Business Saturday is a celebration of community, empowerment, and resilience. It’s a chance to make a tangible difference in your neighborhood while discovering unique treasures and fostering a stronger, more vibrant local economy. So, this November 25, let’s come together to celebrate and uplift the backbone of our communities—our small businesses.
At Economic Impact Catalyst, our mission is to activate a world where there is equitable and inclusive access to entrepreneurship. We believe that entrepreneurship is the key to equitable and inclusive economic development. Our team’s main focus every day is to make it easier for founders to launch businesses in order to create wealth for themselves, for their teams, and for their communities. To learn more about our technology and market research solutions, built exclusively to catalyze entrepreneurship-led economic development efforts, book a call with us today.