Thomas J. Donohue Thomas J. Donohue
Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce


December 09, 2019


Last month, millions of Americans rang in the holiday shopping season on 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 appreciation for the small businesses that are the backbone of our nation’s economy. Regardless of where you live in this country, you can be certain that your local community benefits greatly from the restaurants, retail stores, manufacturers, and service providers that create jobs and drive economic growth in your area.

Consider the facts: America’s 30 million small businesses represent more than 99% of all employers and create more than 60% of new jobs in the U.S. By designating a day in their honor, we are reminded 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. But we also know that small business success begins and ends with customers. So as you shop for gifts this season, don’t forget about the numerous small businesses that support your local economy and employ your friends and neighbors. And remember that you can shop small from the comfort of your own home. The majority of small businesses are online in one form or another—whether featuring products on social media or selling through major online retailers.

To help Americans make the most of their online shopping this holiday season, the Chamber’s Global Innovation Policy Center has launched Shop Safe, a digital campaign that includes tips to keep consumers from falling for counterfeit goods and other scams. Fake products are often made with shoddy materials that do not comply with laws or safety standards and can pose a serious threat to consumers’ health and safety. By insisting on secure transactions, guarding personal information, and watching for missing sales tax charges, shoppers can take simple steps to ensure that they are getting what they pay for, while supporting honest, hardworking small business owners at the same time.

The holiday shopping season is crucial to the bottom lines of many small businesses. Small Business Saturday has 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.

About the authors

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue

Thomas J. Donohue is advisor and former chief executive officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

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