Small businesses need our support now more than ever

There are only a few more days until this year’s Small Business Saturday. Celebrated annually on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to make an impact in their community by supporting local businesses during the holiday season. The day is designed to support local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy, and preserve neighborhoods across the nation.

Small Business Saturday began during the midst of the Great Recession in 2010. Ten years later, small businesses are experiencing another economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic. As our nation reacted to the pandemic, the economy transformed in a period of 15 days as much as it had in the previous 15 years. Many small business owners were forced to close and eventually re-opened to a world of social distancing and mask mandates.

According to the Small Business Majority, the first month after the pandemic was declared a national emergency, 75 percent of U.S. small business owners reported a decrease in revenue. By August, 70 percent of small business owners reported a revenue decline of at least 25 percent or more, with 5 in 10 businesses experiencing losses of 50 percent or more. Additionally, nearly one-in-five small business owners surveyed believe they will have to close their doors if current economic conditions do not improve by early 2021.

This year, we know that our more than 1 million small businesses in Georgia need our support now more than ever as they navigate, retool, and pivot from the effects of a global pandemic. When our small businesses do well, our communities do too. Small businesses create two out of three new private-sector jobs in America, helping spur economic growth in our hometowns. According to the 2018 Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, for every $1 spent with a local small business, $0.67 remains in the local economy.

As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates small businesses daily. Therefore, as part of our annual tradition, I encourage you to join millions of Americans and “shop small” on Small Business Saturday, November 28 to take care of your holiday shopping needs. Last year, an estimated 110 million shoppers nationwide spent a record high of $19.6 billion during Small Business Saturday. My hope is we set another record high this year as more shoppers realize how small businesses are the engine of our economy.

Here are a few ways to celebrate Small Business Saturday this year:

Support your local businesses online or in accordance with the guidelines in your local community.
Check to see if small businesses offer curbside pickup to minimize contact with other shoppers.

Encourage friends and family to shop small. Promote your small business purchases on social media and tag the small businesses.
You can also find participating small businesses here.

The holiday might look a little different this year; however, we can still share joy by shopping small and supporting our favorite small businesses and their employees all holiday season long. They’re depending on us now more than ever.

Terri Denison is the district director for the U.S. Small Business Administration Georgia District. The SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small businesses with resources to start, grow, expand or recover.

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