The 12th Annual Small Business Saturday falls on November 27th. Started by American Express in 2010 in response to the Great Recession, Small Business Saturday is 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.
Small Business Saturday – By the Numbers
The SBA 2020 Small Business Profile reported that there are 31.7 million small businesses in America. These firms employed 60.6 million people (47.1% of the private workforce) and created 1.6 million net jobs in 2019. Thanksgiving weekend, from Black Friday through Cyber Monday is historically the largest shopping weekend of the year with 156.6 million consumers making their Holiday purchases in 2020.
Based on the American Express and National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) 2020 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, Small Business Saturday was one of the biggest shopping days of the 2020 holiday season with Americans spending $19.8 billion at independent retailers and restaurants. With the pandemic forcing many small businesses to pivot to online or social media-based sales, the channel continues to be a smart strategic decision. The survey reported 56% of shoppers made their purchases online, up from 2019. The survey also recognized the impact of the American Express social media campaign to engage consumers, with more than half of respondents showing their commitment to support small business. Hundreds of thousands engaged in the #ShopSmall conversation across social media platforms.
In 2020 businesses, small and large, faced the impact of local shutdown orders in response to mitigate the Coronavirus pandemic. As the economy starts to recover, 2021 is presenting its own set of challenges, many as a result of the impact from 2020. Although there may be pent up demand by consumers, the supply chain may be presenting a challenge to retailers in meeting market demand. Research from the National Retail Federation (NRF) shows that this holiday season 61% of shoppers started making their purchases as early as the start of November while retailers started their advertising campaigns as early as September and October. Additionally, the labor shortage presents another challenge to retailers forcing many to adjust their hours of operation. While many small businesses ceased operations, 2020 showed us the resiliency of America’s entrepreneurs and their ability to pivot, adapt, and thrive.
About Small Business Saturday
American Express supports small businesses owners on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year through their Shop Small initiative. Among resources available, 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 2022.
Additional resources for making the most out of Small Business Saturday are available from various sources:
• NFIB: Tips for a Successful Small Business Saturday
• Main Street America: Tips and Tricks to Help Make Your Small Business Saturday a Success
• Forbes: 8 Restaurant Strategies For A Successful Small Business Saturday
• U.S. Chamber of Commerce: Making the Most of Small Business Saturday
• NRF: Retail Holiday and Seasonal Trends
The SBA provides a Small Business Saturday 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.
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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