Small Business Saturday Fares Well Despite Looming Economic Concerns

Small businesses across the country got their holiday season off to a strong start as millions of U.S. consumers “shopped small” on Small Business Saturday.

Was Small Business Saturday (SBS) good for your business this year?

Small Business Saturday, created in 2010 as a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and preserve neighborhoods around the country was a hit for many entrepreneurs this year.

According to reports from business owners across the U.S. that promoted Small Business Saturday initiatives, the #shopsmall day exceeded their expectations. “This Small Business Saturday was probably twice as big as last year’s, and the store was packed all day,” according to Leah Daniels of Hill’s Kitchen in Washington, DC.

“Sales were the highest they’ve been since the shop’s opening in November 2011. The crowds downtown were comparable to a First Fridays (the monthly Downtown evening shopping event), but more people were buying,” said Margie Kuzia of Humble Home in Racine, WI.

Despite economic uncertainty, with the probability of a slowdown due to the fiscal cliff — more than $600 billion in tax increases and government spending cuts slated for the start of 2013 unless Congress acts, combined with weaker global demand — many U.S. small businesses experienced gains during the retail shopping day.

Bloomberg reported “an earlier read on spending from the Commerce Department on Nov. 14 [that] showed retail sales fell in October for the first time in four months.” Businesses that experienced earlier losses likely welcomed the spike in small business consumer support.

Small Business Saturday Results

Small businesses across the country got their holiday season off to a strong start as millions of U.S. consumers “shopped small” on Small Business Saturday and made a big impact on local communities.

According to the second installment of the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, released today by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, consumer awareness of Small Business Saturday jumped to 67 percent from 34 percent just two weeks ago. Of those aware, nearly half (47%) shopped on Small Business Saturday.

The increased awareness translated into higher spending. Those U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent a total of $5.5 billion with independent merchants. Pre-holiday surveys estimated that U.S. consumers would spend $5.3 billion.

Separately, American Express said Cardmember transactions at small business merchants (including independently owned small businesses that accept American Express Cards in retail and restaurant industry categories) rose approximately 21 percent compared to last year’s Small Business Saturday.


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