The Importance & Benefits of Small Business Saturday 

November 1, 2023

With the holiday season fast approaching, you may be thinking about hopping online to see what bargains the shopping giant Amazon is offering or heading to a well-known retailer to get your gift list started. 

Rather than using your purchasing power at one of these big box stores or larger corporations, we’d like to encourage you to participate in the annual Shop Small – Small Business Saturday this year. 

shop local signWhat Is Small Business Saturday? 

The concept of Small Business Saturday was first introduced in 2010 by American Express after the 2008 recession and financial crisis. The ultimate goal was to encourage consumers to shop locally thus giving small businesses the opportunity to increase their sales during the highly competitive holiday shopping season. The goal remains the same to this day as we have just experienced massive economic hardship during the pandemic for many of these same businesses. 

The initial “Shop Small” event was successful and has actually increased in popularity boasting nearly 6-in-10 consumers (59%) participating in Small Business Saturday. That’s an even higher number than those that take part in Black Friday at 56% according to a report by Bankrate.

Businesses included in a “small business” designation are those that have fewer than 500 employees. While shopping at brick-and-mortar stores is what most people consider when they think about “Shop Small” Saturday, many of these small businesses also have an online presence that makes it easy to shop using e-commerce sites. 

The types of businesses included in this designation are varied and can include restaurants, retail stores, grocery stores, service-based industry establishments, and small mom-and-pop shops in local communities. 

When Is Small Business Saturday? 

Small Business Saturday falls on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, right between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This year the annual event is being celebrated on November 25th. 

Community, Consumer & Business Benefits 

Small Business Saturday is a win-win all around for all those including the consumers, business owners, and the community at large. 

During the day (and weekend) of Small Business Saturday, businesses can see a huge increase in revenue. In fact, American Express reports that “Consumers spent a record $23.3 billion shopping on Small Business Saturday in 2021.” That is record consumer spending! 

Consumers also win on Small Business Saturday as there are many great bargains to kick off holiday shopping without breaking the bank. Add to this the concept that shopping small is often a better shopping experience with quality customer service. 

Communities benefit from this American-made holiday too! It is estimated that for every dollar spent in local retail stores and restaurants, 67 cents stays in the community. This means that there is a healthier local economy with businesses hiring locally, adding to the local tax base, and supporting local causes. 

This year we encourage you to participate in Small Business Saturday in Burlington and visit your favorite local establishment to support the businesses that keep Burlington going strong.