A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Today is Small Business Saturday! A counter to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, promotes local retailers

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

This weekend marks the kickoff of the Christmas shopping season, and while everyone has heard of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, don’t forget about Small Business Saturday.

Today is Small Business Saturday, a nine-year-old, nationwide promotion to support small, independent retailers, many of whom have struggled to survive in rural areas in an age of big-box stores and online shopping.

Santa has arrived at downtown Bellevue


While 40 percent of Americans have heard about Small Business Saturday, 60 percent weren’t sure, or they guessed the wrong day, according to the Job Creators Network.


Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express as a way to help get more customers through the doors of small businesses and has grown to become a permanent fixture of the holiday shopping weekend. Now in its ninth year, 97% of consumers who plan to Shop Small on the day said Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community, according to the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, a study released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses and American Express, based on a separate survey of consumers.

The survey also found that:


–91% of consumers believe it is more important than ever to support small businesses this holiday season.


–83% of consumers plan to do at least some portion of their holiday shopping at a small, independently owned retailer or restaurant – either in person or online.


–96% of consumers who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday said Small Business Saturday inspires them to go to small, independently-owned retailers or restaurants that they have not been to before, or would not have otherwise tried.


“The overwhelming majority of Americans believes it’s important to shop at small businesses, not just for the holidays, but all year long,” said Elaine Parker, president of the Job Creators Network Foundation.  “Americans know intuitively that when they shop at small businesses, they’re helping their friends and neighbors.”


According to the Job Creators Network/ScottRasmussen.com Weekly Pulse released Wednesday, 42 percent of Americans will make a special effort this Saturday to put small business on their shopping list. Almost 40 percent say they have family or friends who run a small business. That figure jumps higher for Hispanics, 47 percent, and Asians, 50 percent.


Millennials and their younger counterparts, Generation Z, are also more likely than older demographic cohorts to have family and friends who run businesses. Specifically, Fifty-four percent of Americans said they’ve shopped at a small business in the last 30 days. That figure rises to almost 70 percent for millennials.

“Small business isn’t just an economic category, it’s a way of life for many Americans,” said Parker. “That fact is even more pronounced in certain communities.”

Not only are small businesses job creators, but a new Small Business Economic Impact Study from American Express, an average two-thirds ($0.67) of every dollar spent at a small business stays in the local community.


Small business Saturday is even important in Kentucky’s larger cities.  

“The national Small Business Saturday movement fits the Greater Louisville economy so well because we have so many vibrant small businesses. Supporting those retailers is vital to maintaining not just our local economy, but also the incredible culture that makes Louisville, Louisville,” said Greater Louisville President and CEO Kent Oyler.


In 2017, an estimated 108 Million consumers reported shopping or dining at participating businesses according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. The most reported reason for consumers aware of Small Business Saturday who sopped and dined at small, independently-owned businesses, was to support their community, 64 percent, according to the 2017 Small Business Saturday 50-state Survey.

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