As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates all small businesses on a daily basis.
When our small businesses do well, our communities do too.
Therefore, as part of our annual tradition, I encourage you to join millions of shoppers and “shop small” on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25, to complete your holiday shopping (or to start your holiday shopping, as the case may be…)
On the heels of Black Friday, shopping small is a concrete way to support small retailers – the same businesses that generate two of every three net new jobs, and deliver essential goods and services to our communities 365 days a year.
Last year, there were 112 million consumers “shopping small” on Saturday spending more than $15.4 billion. Surveys show that 72 percent of consumers said Small Business Saturday inspires them to “shop small” throughout the year and not just for the holidays. In addition, more than 60 percent of consumers state the main reason they support small businesses is because of their contributions to the local community.
You can do your part with these five simple steps:
1. If you are a business owner, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday shopping season by checking out helpful advice, and viewing SBA Administrator Linda McMahon’s YouTube video on the importance of Small Business Saturday, at http://www.sba.gov/saturday.
2. If you’re a customer, commit to making at least one purchase from a locally-owned small business retailer. Get to know the owner, and make your gift more meaningful by sharing their story as part of what you give your loved ones.
3. Enjoy the experience. Travel outside your comfort zone — and away from your computer screen — to discover an out-of-the ordinary shopping district with some trendy local stores.
4. Take part in Small Business Saturday on social media, using the hashtag #ShopSmall to amplify your support. If you find a great small business retailer with unique products, Tweet or Facebook your find so others can enjoy it too.
5. When you open your gifts, start a conversation about which one came from the most distinctive and creative sellers. This can make for great debate over egg nog or your holiday drink of choice.
I know I plan to shop small with my friends and family on Saturday, Nov. 25. I encourage you to do the same – and remember that “shop small” refers to whom you buy from, and not how much you buy.
Editor’s Note: The main image accompanying the above guest column shows Nadia Vera Moralez and Marco Vera, co-owners of Vera’s King-O-Meats, small, family-run business with stores in Edinburg and Donna.