Advisor and Former Chief Executive Officer, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
November 27, 2017
Thanksgiving is a time for family, food, and football—but it’s also the starting gun for 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, while maybe 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 sure 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, especially during important consumer shopping seasons such as this.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce isproud to stand for millions of small businesses in communities all across America. We fight for their interests every day in Washington, D.C. on the big policy issues before our government, including tax reform, health care, regulatory reform, and so many others. But we also know that small business success begins and ends with customers. So this season, as you shop for that perfect gift, don’t forget about the many small businesses that support your local economy and employ your friends and neighbors.
Today offers a prime 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 many stores in your community that you might not even realize have an online presence. The Chamber’s latest Small Business Index found that 81% 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 important to many small businesses. Unfortunately, three-quarters of all small business owners report that holiday season revenue is either the same or lower than 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 help support the small businesses that are pillars of our local economies.