By Terri Jo Neff |
With the National Retail Federation estimating that 2 million more people will do holiday shopping between Thanksgiving Day and Cyber Monday, Arizona’s leading small-business association is reminding shoppers of the upside to reserving some of that money for Small Business Saturday on Nov. 27.
Started by American Express as a post-Thanksgiving, pre-Cyber Monday marketing gimmick in 2010, Small Business Saturday is now officially co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2019, Small Business Saturday shoppers at “mom and pop” type independent retailers and restaurants spent nearly $19.6 billion, which was topped last November at $19.8 billion despite ongoing pandemic challenges.
Michigan State University’s Center for Community and Economic Development has reported that of $100 spent at a locally owned business, $73 remained in the local economy in the form of higher wages, re-spending, and an improved tax base.
“Dollars spent at small, locally owned businesses are not sent to some out-of-state corporate parent,” said Chad Heinrich, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). “Those dollars stay local and support the community.”
Earlier this month NFIB released the latest findings of its special COVID-19 polls showing 62 percent of small-business owners say their supply-chain disruptions are worse than three months ago. And 90 percent of respondents expect the problem to continue for the next five months, if not longer.
Equally troubling, according to Heinrich, is that NFIB’s Small Business Economic Trends report found the percentage of small-business owners expecting better business conditions in the coming months has fallen to its lowest level since November 2012.
That is why getting a large share of the nation’s estimated 158.3 million holiday shoppers to shop local small businesses is important, especially in Arizona where so many businesses continue to struggle post-pandemic.
“Shopping at small businesses helps the Arizona economy,” said Heinrich. “This is a tough time for our mom-and-pop businesses. If Arizonans focus on shopping local, this could be a jolly holiday season for all.”
According to American Express, last year’s Small Business Saturday exceeded expectations despite the pandemic due to small businesses pivoting to online sales and utilizing non-traditional advertising such as social media to stay connected with customers.
“In addition, small business owners rolled out a variety of giveaways and special offerings to consumers, a smart strategy as 43% of consumers reported that they took advantage of special offers or promotions from small businesses on the day,” AMEX reports.