Since 2010, American Express has joined the nation’s small, independent businesses to make a statement on the importance of supporting the local businesses that in turn support the local economy.
The 2015 edition of Small Business Saturday is coming up on Nov. 28 While Black Friday is primarily for the big box stores, and Cyber Monday for online sales, Small Business Saturday is observed to remind people to patronize their own local businesses in their own home towns.
Bob Hallstrom, the Nebraska State Director for the National Federation of Independent Business, said Small Business Saturday sends the message there’s something beneficial going on between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
“Small business is the engine of Nebraska’s economy,” he said. “This is a great way to not only rev that engine, but also to acquaint or re-acquaint yourself with your neighbors who own and work at small businesses.”
On average, every dollar spent at a local business turns around seven times in the community. That provides for more hiring by more businesses, making for a stronger local economy. When people take their business out of the area, those dollars are lost, along with the economic opportunities they could bring.
Unlike the ubiquitous “big boxes” and chain franchises, local small businesses are unique unto themselves. They often reflect the personality it their owners and provide products people just won’t find at the megastores. Plus, the personal service from friendly locals is another benefit.
“With Small Business Saturday, we want to get the word out that customers should consider shopping at small, local businesses,” Hallstrom said. “From the input we’ve received from members who have participated, they feel the effort is well worth it.”
He added that national data clearly show that small businesses are the driving force in new job creation. American Express executives point out that over the past decade, small businesses have created between 60 and 80 percent of new jobs.
Small Business Saturday has grown into a big success since it was first observed in 2010. American Express research showed that last year, the day brought in 88 million customers who spent $14.3 billion in local stores in their local communities.
That success has spread beyond the shores of America. In 2013, business owners in the United Kingdom started their own Small Business Saturday.
This year, they’ve chosen Dec. 5 to highlight their own small businesses and encourage customers to shop local.