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Small Business Saturday

SBA LogoWhat Comes Between Black Friday and Cyber Monday? That’s Right! Small Business Saturday!!!

By: Thomas A. Todt,
District Director – Alabama,
U.S. Small Business Administration

First of all, hope you had a grand Halloween and Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. It seems that every year poor old Thanksgiving gets more and more squeezed out between the big retail events of Halloween and Christmas. Thanksgiving used to be sacrosanct to the extent that retailers would wait until midnight to open for Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving that kicks off the traditional Christmas shopping period. I get it, I really do, but I fervently hope that Thanksgiving never gets renamed “Charcoal Gray Thursday.”

The Alabama Retail Association estimates that Alabama shoppers will spend $11.5 Billion in November and December. As you plan for your holiday shopping, real, virtual and otherwise, please consider sharing some of that with small businesses in your community.

Alabama has almost 390,000 small businesses (over 99% of all business in the state!). Those small businesses have about 772,000 employees, or 48% of the state’s private work force. That represents a lot of payroll, property and sales taxes that go to benefit your local community, county and state at large.

Small business owners and Main Street businesses are the fabric of our daily lives. They have energy and a passion for what they do, and when we support small business, jobs are created and local communities preserve their unique culture. From storefront shops that anchor Main Street, to franchise stores, to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise.

Small Business Saturday is a national initiative that marks a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country. Imagine how desolate your downtown or favorite shopping area would look with empty storefronts displaying “For Lease” signs in the windows instead of merchandise. The money generated by small business goes right back into the local economy, and that’s important because we know that half of working Americans either own or work for a small business.

If you are a small business owner, help yourself. Get involved in the program. You can visit https://www.sba.gov/about-sba/sba-initiatives/small-business-saturday and https://www.americanexpress.com/us/small-business/shop-small/ for ideas and marketing information, or talk with an SBA resource partner, such as your local Business Advisor from the Alabama SBDC, SCORE, or Women’s Business Center.

Last year, Small Business Saturday gave a boost to Main Street merchants and spurred an estimated 112 million Americans to shop at independently-owned small businesses. More than 500,000 small business owners leveraged an online tool for Small Business Saturday promotional materials. And this year we hope those numbers will only get higher.

On Saturday, November 25, take the opportunity to do something really BIG—THINK SMALL! Go downtown or to the mall, walk off those extra calories from Thursday, and support small businesses in your area. Happy Thanksgiving. Happy Small Business Saturday and Happy Holidays.