Tomorrow, November 30, 2013, is Small Business Saturday. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, I would be remiss if I didn’t’ encourage my readers to Shop Small this Saturday. I’d like to go one step further and encourage each of you to shop small any day of the week and often, not just the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
The Shop Small initiative was launched by American Express in 2010 to help small businesses be heard and found during the biggest shopping season in the U.S. It is also designed to help them stay in business and afloat given the topsy-turvy economy that most of us have had to endure the past few years. Small Business Saturday is a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. Black Friday – the day after Thanksgiving – is well underway with sales and door busting price cuts on many items. Most of us have also come to associate Black Friday and Cyber-Monday with big-box stores, department stores, and other national store chains.
Many shoppers are looking for door-busting deals on Black Friday. Others are less interested in the advertised sales items because they are last year’s models, or are cheaper products that have been exclusively made for Black Friday and quick sales. Personally, when shopping for a gift item, I usually look for products with a unique look and features, or a one-of-a-kind or limited edition products for those on my gift lists. Yes, I do purchase items from big box and department stores, however, I may need a variety of items to complete my shopping list. That is one reason why I love arts and crafts fairs and the artisans and designers that come with them. Those items are not usually found in big box stores, often are handmade and of better quality, and the price is right because the overhead is low. Yet another reason to support your local small businesses.
According to Business Insider and the U.S. Census Bureau [Ref 1 & 2], non-employer small businesses generated $989.6 billion in 2011. That’s important for a number of reasons including the following facts:
– a small business has less than 500 employees.
– there are 28 million small businesses in the U.S. of which 22 million are self-employed with no payroll employees.
– over 50% of the working population (roughly 120 million people) works for small businesses.
So-o-o-o shop small and keep those dollars in your local community!
1. Infographic: The State of U.S. Small Business, Business Insider, Jason Nazar of Docstoc, September 10, 2013,
2. U.S. Census Bureau, www.census.gov