Get Out There and Shop Small for a Big Impact | U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Nov 22, 2017 - 9:30am

Get Out There and Shop Small for a Big Impact


Director, Strategic Communications

Small Business Saturday encourages people across the country to support small, local businesses, infuses money back into local economies, promotes vibrant and diverse communities, and celebrates the important role of small businesses in the national economy.

Small Business Saturday is an annual event, which takes place nationwide on the Saturday following Thanksgiving (November 25, 2017). In 2016, an estimated 112 million Americans shopped at small businesses and independent restaurants, spending about $15.4 billion, according to American Express. 

How did it start?

Small Business SaturdayIn 2010, in an effort to support local small businesses – many of whom were hurting during the economic recession – American Express launched Small Business Saturday to help drive more holiday shopping to small businesses. One year after the launch, local officials across the nation began to notice and promote the day. In fact in 2011, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution in support of Small Business Saturday and by 2012 officials in all 50 states began to participate – and they have every year since!

“Small Business Saturday provides people an opportunity to discover and celebrate the variety of small businesses that make their communities thrive,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Executive Vice President, Global Advertising & Brand Management at American Express. “Beyond visiting their favorite go-to spots, shoppers say Small Business Saturday inspires them to visit places they have not been to before and would not have otherwise tried.”

To learn more, visit America Express’s Small Business Saturday page.

What’s the impact?

According to the 2016 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, small business owners generated an estimated $15.4 billion on Small Business Saturday in 2016.  And shoppers have been showing up in record numbers – with more and more each year. In 2016, 112 million people came out to shop on Small Business Saturday – 13% more shoppers compared to 2015.

“Our country’s 28 million small businesses play a pivotal role in America’s economy and communities,” said Tom Sullivan, vice president of small business policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity to support this vital component to the economy. When small businesses are growing, our local communities are growing, and in turn the national economy grows. By shopping small we’re helping to create jobs and drive economic growth.”

According to the Q4 MetLife & U.S. Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index, a majority (55%) of retailers report that their overall profit depends on the holiday season.  Spending money locally matters. For every $10 million spent locally, 57 new jobs are created at local businesses, according to the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies. 

“More and more shoppers have been coming out for Small Business Saturday,” said Kristie Arslan, Co-owner of Popped Republic Gourmet Popcorn in Alexandria, VA. “I think it makes them feel good to contribute to their local community, and for us as a small business, seeing our neighbors come out to support us is not only encouraging, but also helps our bottom line during the holiday season. And that in turn enables us to grow and then better serve our valued customers.”

Ben Hyman, Executive Director of Pigtown Main Street in Baltimore, MD said, "Small Business Saturday is a great reminder of the impact that our small businesses have on our local economy and in our communities. At our Small Business Saturday event, shoppers have the opportunity to support local merchants that offer exclusive promotions and one-of-a-kind gifts, while reinvesting their money back into the neighborhood.”  Pigtown is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the commercial revitalization of the Washington Boulevard commercial corridor in Baltimore next to the Orioles’ ballpark and the Ravens’ stadium. 

How can you help?

Support the small businesses in your area and shop local – especially during Small Business Saturday on November 25th.

Use this interactive map to find businesses near you that are participating. For more Small Business Saturday ideas and resources, and to see how your support of small businesses can impact your community, view what the Shop Small Movement means for your area.

And if you are shopping small, be sure to share on social media using #ShopSmall.

About the Author

About the Author

Bridgett Hebert
Director, Strategic Communications

Bridgett Hebert is the director for strategic communications at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The Strategic Communications team works with our partners throughout the organization to plan and execute comprehensive branding and communications initiatives.