Shopping on Small Business Saturday is a Positive for Your Community

HYANNIS – Shoppers across America turned out once again for the highly anticipated yearly tradition of Black Friday shopping. However, another unofficial, yet important shopping holiday has turned into a trend of its own.

Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 as a way to help small businesses get more customers. The celebration has since become an annual shopping tradition on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

“The downtown business owners are usually local people and local families, and they give back so much more. I know it because I see it with celebrations, I see it with United Way, I see it with the Rotary Club. It’s the local businesses that really care so much more and they are engrained in the community,” said Elizabeth Warfbain of the Hyannis Main Street Improvement District.

“We know shopping locally is important to our local community and Christmas is all about community. You can’t really get that sort of experience when you live in the land of big chain stores and big box stores.”

The Small Business Economic Impact Study, a county-level economic analysis on shopping small commissioned by American Express, provides a closer look at the economic benefits of shopping locally and the impact of small business on communities.

The study found that if small businesses in the U.S., defined as businesses employing fewer than 100 employees, were a country, they would have a GDP of $4.8 trillion, equivalent to the GDP of Japan, the third largest economy in the world.

The study also demonstrated the extent to which small businesses support jobs locally. In addition to small businesses directly employing members of the community, spending by those small businesses and their employees in the area also supports local jobs. In fact, for every ten jobs at a small business, another seven are supported in the local community.

Now in its ninth year, 97% of consumers who plan to Shop Small on the day said Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community, according to the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, another study released today by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, based on a separate survey of consumers.

The survey found that nine in ten, or 91-percent, of consumers believe it is more important than ever to support small businesses this holiday season, and 83% plan to do at least some portion of their holiday shopping at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant – either in person or online. On par with previous years’ celebrations, nearly six in ten, or 58-percent, of U.S. consumers reported being aware of Small Business Saturday, and among those, 80-percent plan to go out and Shop Small at independently-owned retailers or restaurants on the day.

“Everything is so global and international and presents come to your doorstep, it’s really important to buy presents for you friends and family from people you know and really support your local community,” Warfbain said.

“Plus, you’ll find items that are unique or curated by a specialist. It’s always so much better when you can feel something, try it on, touch it and look at it.”

By TIM DUNN, CapeCod.com News Center

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