This holiday season, make a big difference by shopping small.
November 27 is Small Business Saturday. It’s a day to avoid the big-box hustle bustle and celebrate the nation’s nearly 32 million independent businesses, who help tie communities together while also giving back to them. Consumer support is as vital as ever this year, as small-business owners continue to navigate the choppy waters of pandemic recovery while also often dealing with staffing issues.
American Express founded the event in 2010. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) officially became a co-sponsor a year later.
Despite occurring while much of the country was in the grip of the COVID pandemic’s second wave, last year’s Small Business Saturday was a rousing success. Spending at independent retailers and restaurants during 2020’s iteration reached an estimated $19.8 billion, up from $19.6 billion in 2019, according to a Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express. Not surprisingly, online shopping at small businesses rose significantly, with 56% of consumers buying something online, up from 43% in 2019.
The Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers (PASBDC) network is proud to help celebrate these pillars of so many communities. For its efforts, the organization has been designated Neighborhood Champions by the credit-card company.
Since its inception in 1980, the PASBDC has helped more than 30,000 businesses throughout the commonwealth start, grow, and prosper, creating over 140,000 jobs generating more than $796 million in new tax revenue. The organization’s 16 centers reside at institutions of all sizes: Bucknell University, Clarion University, Duquesne University, Gannon University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Kutztown University, Lehigh University, Penn State University, Saint Francis University, Saint Vincent College, Shippensburg University, Temple University, University of Pittsburgh, The University of Scranton, Widener University, and Wilkes University.
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of our local communities,” said John Stetler, director of the Small Business Development Center at Kutztown University. “They provide goods and services, help employ our fellow neighbors, and inject life into our neighborhoods. Please join us in supporting these businesses on Small Business Saturday. Stop in to your local store, say hi, shop around and support those that support us daily.”
Over the coming days, the PASBDC network will fan out to local storefronts, dropping off Small Business Saturday gear to help business owners dress up their locations for the day. Keep an eye out for signs and stickers while you’re shopping. The organization will also offer virtual support, with promotions like the shop small, shop local gift guide curated by the Small Business Development Center at Temple University. The collection spotlights 30 Philadelphia-area businesses offering gifts for the home decorator, for the artsy and eclectic, for the little ones, for the skin-care obsessed, for the coffee connoisseur, for the party people, for the amateur distiller and much more.
During this season of giving, consider giving support to those who give so much to communities. #ShopSmall. #ShopSmallPA