Small Business Saturday has become a great way to support small business owners in neighborhoods across the country every year—but there are many reasons to continue to support local businesses the entire holiday season and year-round.
It’s even more meaningful to support small businesses now as many still face challenges from the pandemic like soaring inflation, worker shortages and supply chain disruptions. A recent QuickBooks survey found 80% of small businesses say the 2022 holiday season is more important to their overall financial health than last year.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is encouraging consumers to shop small every day to support small businesses and fuel the economy during the holiday season. Here are five reasons you should make shopping small a priority during the holidays—and beyond:
1. Shopping small is investing in your local economy.
When you support a local business, you’re also supporting your town, city, and neighborhood by way of paying sales tax. The sales tax money is used to support public schools, parks, roads, and sidewalks, as well as fund public service workers, like firefighters.
“It may be hard to see sometimes, but your local dollar comes back to you in a variety of ways,” says Victoria Kidd, owner of Hideaway Café in Winchester, Virginia.
This year 30% of Americans said they are willing to pay more at small businesses and 30% are willing to wait longer at small businesses versus major retailers or chain stores, according to a NerdWallet survey.
2. Small businesses are essential to the U.S. economy.
America’s 33.2 million small businesses account for more than 99% of all U.S. companies and employ just under 47% of private sector employees. Consumers plan to spend 40% of their total holiday budget at small businesses this year, according to the QuickBooks survey, with the potential to fuel more than $88 billion in holiday spending.
Facing economic uncertainty and high inflation, many small businesses are feeling the pressure to have a strong quarter before the colder, slower months of winter to come. It is even more important this year to support small businesses and fuel a strong economy.
3. Small businesses give back to their community.
According to new data from the MetLife and U.S. Chamber Small Business Index to be released in December, 70% of small business owners have encouraged their own employees to shop at other small businesses in the community.
Nearly all small businesses owners agree that community engagement is important for their business—and are actively engaged in giving back in several ways—including hosting or sponsoring community events, donating to local charities, and forming partnerships with other local businesses.
4. Many small businesses are now online, too.
Shopping small is now easier than ever as many small businesses have bulked up their online presence during the pandemic. With the growth of the digital economy, more and more entrepreneurs are starting or moving their businesses online. A recent report by the U.S. Chamber highlights the importance of technology for small business.
“During the pandemic, it was so critical to have a different channel to generate business as people weren’t able to access traditional brick and mortar stores,” said Hrag Kalebjian of Henry’s House of Coffee. “We saw our business triple during this time, and I am happy to say that we have retained most of that new business even though things have opened back up.”
5. You can find one-of-a-kind items and customized service.
The items found in small businesses are often made by hand in small batches, resulting in one-of-a-kind pieces. Local stores may also be able to offer customized products, hands-on service, and other personal touches that big box stores cannot. In fact, 37% of Americans say they purchase from small businesses to receive a more personal experience, according to a recent NerdWallet survey.
Many small businesses consider their employees and customers like family. During a tough year of ongoing pandemic impacts and economic uncertainty, it’s the perfect time to visit your favorite local businesses and thank them for all they do for the community.