History of Small Business Saturday
Oddly enough, American Express, a U.S. corporation with $37 billion in revenue in 2018, started Small Business Saturday in 2010. (Yes, most small retailers do accept credit cards.) The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) joined as a cosponsor five years later. SBS has become an important part of how many small businesses launch their busiest shopping season.
According to the 2018 SBS Consumer Insights Survey, total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of approximately $17.8 billion. The same survey reported that more than 70% of consumers are now aware of the Small Business Saturday initiative. Based on this annual survey over the years, SBS spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began.
SBA, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), and American Express hope to drive traffic and revenue to America’s 30 million independent businesses through Small Business Saturday events.
The U.S. Small Business Administration, created in 1953, helps Americans start, build, and grow businesses. It’s an independent agency of the federal government built to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns, to preserve free competitive enterprise and to maintain and strengthen the overall economy of our nation.
Among other things, the SBA provides small businesses with access to capital, entrepreneurial development, government contracting, and advocacy. Perhaps most importantly, the SBA offers free counseling and low-cost training to new entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations.
Small Business Saturday timeline
American Express — following the 2008 market crash — launches Small Business Saturday® to encourage people to “shop small” and bring more dollars to small entrepreneurs.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passes a resolution in support of the day and officials in all 50 states participate.
More than 1,400 individuals and organizations sign up as “Neighborhood Champions” to rally their communities with events and activities on Small Business Saturday.
U.S. consumers report spending around $17 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday Statistics
99.7% of all U.S. businesses are small businesses
The land of opportunity and entrepreneurs, 99.7% of all businesses in the U.S. are small businesses. When we think small businesses, our minds might automatically wander to the mom-and-pop shop on the corner of the block, but what about the ever-famous-ever-growing Silicon Valley? A large amount of small businesses within the United States are startups and tech-based, popping up in California, New York, and everywhere in between.
64% of new jobs created in the U.S. between 1993 and 2011 were from small businesses
A business can’t run without the people keeping it afloat, and with all of the new startups being created almost every day, it’s no wonder small businesses account for employing the most people in the United States! The inception of each new business creates a bunch of new jobs along with it, needing someone with the appropriate skills to fill the position. So when you support small businesses, you support the many people helping to keep it running.
Small businesses donate 250% more to non-profits and community causes
Small businesses have a personal connection to their community, as their companies are usually supported by the locals surrounding them. Donating to charity allows them to give back to the community that gives to them, as well as getting some philanthropy points and spreading awareness of their business’s existence and values.
Small Business Saturday FAQs
How can I promote my Small Business Saturday?
You can start by spreading the word early, working with a local cause, and setting special business hours for November 30 only.
What is the purpose of Small Business Saturday?
How did Small Business Saturday start?
American Express began SBS in 2010 as a way provide a jolt to local businesses still hurting from the Great Recession.
Small Business Saturday Activities
Go On A Local Shopping Spree
Many shoppers opt for big box stores on Black Friday, knowing that there'll be sales on common holiday gifts. Small businesses sometimes offer many similar discounts — but without the marketing dollars to display the price cuts, they're often left out in the cold. If you were planning on purchasing a TV this holiday season, try calling your local electronics store to see if they're offering any discounts first.
Talk About It
Social media is a wonderful way to share our daily lives with friends, but sometimes, letting them know about a good deal from an e-commerce giant or a big box store can feel like advertising. With small businesses, it's different: Instead of contributing to some corporation's bottom line, you can rest easy knowing that you're helping a neighbor succeed.
Make It A Habit
Small Business Saturday only lasts for one day, but you're now acquainted with your local shops. Don't let another year pass before your next visit! For small businesses to succeed, they need our support through the year.
Why We Love Small Business Saturday
Unless you live in a major metropolitan area, chances are that the closest stores to your home are small businesses. Nearly wherever you are, they're close enough that you can just run up the block to reach them.
They try harder
Local stores are more likely to make sure you leave happy, and might even make an effort to keep your favorite items in stock.
Get To Know The Neighborhood
Unlike their big box brethren, each small business will be different from the next. Getting to know your local small businesses can be a great way to get to know your neighborhood and community!
Small Business Saturday dates