By Janita R. Stewart
Jackson Advocate Guest Writer
Thanksgiving is one of the most notable holidays, and perhaps each of us has something – maybe even many things – for which to be thankful.
Right on the heels of Thanksgiving Day is Black Friday, and the following week will be kicked off with Cyber Monday. In between those days is what has come to be known as “Small Business Saturday.”
Saturday, November 25, 2023 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses and all they do for their communities. This year, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they navigate, retool, and pivot from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
With the holiday season just around the corner and with small businesses everywhere gearing up and positioning themselves to serve in a post-COVID shopping environment, our local mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, boutiques, independent retailers, service providers, and more can maximize this opportunity by participating in Small Business Saturday. We each can do our part by making it a point to support our local small businesses by shopping small.
We are encouraging small businesses to use Small Business Saturday to help drive more traffic directly to their businesses – whether it is by the traditional means of visiting brick and mortar retail stores, restaurants, and more (doing it safely of course) or by way of on-line purchases. Whichever means by which a small business chooses to promote its business, we encourage customers to visit in person or shop online.
Choosing to shop local could result in a significant economic impact for our communities and would transcend throughout our state with increased revenues, expanding the tax base and maintaining employment at these small businesses.
There are 33.3 million small businesses in the nation with 266,385 of them in Mississippi accounting for 99.3% of all businesses being small in our state. There is no doubt that small businesses are crucial to the national and this state’s economy. Historically, reported projected spending among U.S. consumers who shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday reached an estimated $17.9 billion according to the 2022 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey commissioned by American Express, SBA’s cosponsor of Small Business Saturday since 2011.
As this holiday season gets underway, each of us has a choice to make, so please choose to support the local economy. Doing so patronizes the entrepreneurs and small businesses that have worked hard every single day throughout challenging times. Together, we could lighten their load.
Please join SBA and supporting organizations in recognizing Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 25th.
One last thing to consider – make it a practice to shop small not only on Small Business Saturday but also throughout the entire year! That would undoubtedly demonstrate a real impact on small businesses which truly are the backbone of this nation’s and Mississippi’s economy! Happy Thanksgiving!
For more information about SBA and its programs and services, visit www.sba.gov/ms.
How You Can Participate
• Find participating small businesses in your area
For small business owners
• Get free Small Business Saturday marketing materials – including sample posters and social media resources (https://www.americanexpress.com/us/merchant/shop-small/materials.html)
For partner organizations
• Follow SBA on social media for all the latest updates on #ShopSmall
Janita R. Stewart is District Director, U.S. Small Business Administration.