3:13 pm - Friday December 16, 6011

SBA feature story – Small Biz Saturday highlights year-round impactof shopping small‏

As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) celebrates small businesses on a daily basis.  When our small businesses do well, our communities do too. Therefore, as part of our annual tradition, I encourage you to join millions of Americans and “shop small” on Small Business Saturday(r), Nov. 29, to complete your holiday shopping (or to start your holiday shopping, as the case may be…)

On the heels of Black Friday, shopping small is a concrete way to support small businesses – the same businesses that generate two of every three net new jobs, and deliver essential goods and services to America’s communities 365 days a year. Last year, Small Business Saturday(r) had a major impact.  Consumers who were aware of it spent an estimated $5.7 billion with independent merchants.

You can do your part with these five simple steps:

*   If you’re a business owner, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday season by checking out helpful advice at http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinesssaturday.

*         If you’re a customer, commit to making at least one purchase from a locally-owned small business retailer.  Get to know the owner, and make your gift more meaningful by sharing their story as part of what you give your loved ones.

*         Enjoy the experience.  Travel outside your comfort zone — and away from your computer screen — to discover an out-of-the ordinary shopping district with some trendy local stores.

*         Take part in Small Business Saturday(r) on social media, using the hashtag #SmallBizSat to amplify your support.  If you find a great small business retailer with unique products, Tweet or Facebook your find so others can enjoy it too.

*         When you open your gifts, start a conversation about which one came from the most distinctive and creative sellers.  This can make for great debate over egg nog or your holiday drink of choice.

I know I’ll be shopping small with my friends and family on Saturday, Nov. 29.  I encourage you to do the same – and remember that “shop small” refers to whom you buy from, and not how much you buy!

(Matt Varilek serves as the SBA’s Region VIII Administrator and is based in Denver.  He oversees the agency’s programs and services in Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota,
and Wyoming.)

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