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Thanksgiving is a time for family, friends, food, and football – but it’s also the start of the holiday shopping season. Many Americans hit the ground running last week with Black Friday, braving the crowds and traffic to visit their favorite stores for great deals. The following day, perhaps not as well known, was another nationally recognized day for shoppers: Small Business Saturday.
First observed in 2010, Small Business Saturday has become an important day to show our appreciation for the backbone of our nation’s economy: small businesses. No matter where you live, you can be certain that your local community benefits greatly from the restaurants, retail stores, manufacturers, service providers, and other small businesses that create jobs and drive economic growth in your area. By designating a day in their honor, we remind ourselves that these businesses rely on our patronage during critical consumer shopping seasons as well as year-round.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is proud to stand for millions of small businesses in communities across America. We fight for their interests every day in Washington, D.C., on policy priorities including health care, regulatory reform, taxes, workplace issues, and so many others. But we also know that small business success begins and ends with customers. So this season, as you shop for gifts, don’t forget about the numerous small businesses that support your local economy and employ your friends and neighbors.
Today offers another opportunity to support them – without even leaving our homes. Cyber Monday is a day for excellent digital deals at online retailers large and small, including stores in your community that you may not realize have an online presence. The Chamber’s Small Business Index found that the vast majority of small businesses are online in some form – whether on social media, by selling through major online retailers, or with their own branded shopping websites.
Our Index also found that the holiday shopping season is crucial to many small businesses’ bottom lines. Unfortunately, 75% of owners reported that holiday season revenue is either the same or lower than during the rest of the year. All of us can help change that. Small Business Saturday may have passed, but together we can make every day a small business day. By dining at locally owned restaurants, shopping at small retailers, and visiting our community stores in person and online, every American can support the small businesses that are pillars of our local economies.