store owner in front of shop

This is what it means to shop local in the United States.

Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday started in 2010.

That year, the event was sponsored and promoted by American Express to encourage the growth of small businesses. Small Business Saturday took a dip in 2017, both in foot traffic and in overall dollars spent.

The shopping holiday saw 108 million shoppers who spent approximately $12.9 billion, which according to the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express, is 4 million shoppers and more than $3 billion less than the year before.

The state-by-state breakdown of the day shows that a majority of participation was through restaurants and bars, with 41 percent of people dining local. This was followed by purchases of clothing and accessories from small businesses (24 percent), grocery stores (23 percent) and then coffee shops (22 percent).

Shopping Small

You may have already heard more mainstream statistics regarding your dollars (such as when you spend $100 at a local business, approximately $68 stays in the local economy, rather than just the $43 if you would spend that same money at a big-box store).

But did you also know that small businesses accounted for more than half the jobs that have been created in the last decade?

Additionally, small businesses donate 250 percent more than corporate businesses to non-profits and to community-based causes, according to the Seattle Good Business Network.

While some shoppers won’t purchase items directly on Shop Small Saturday, the shopping holiday has definitely increased small business awareness. People have begun to shop small on other days and more consistently throughout the year.


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