On Nov. 24, holiday consumers and small businesses celebrated the ninth annual Small Business Saturday. The event, created by American Express as an offshoot to Black Friday, brought in an estimated $17.8 billion, according to surveys commissioned by the company. This brings the estimated total spending on the day to $103 billion since 2010, reported Amex.
In addition to supporting brick-and-mortar businesses, 41 percent of consumers surveyed said they shopped small businesses online.
“Millions of shoppers came together to show their support for small, independently owned businesses this Small Business Saturday,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, chief marketing officer at American Express. “The ‘shop small’ movement has become a national celebration – people all around the country are turning out to back the small businesses that make our neighborhoods and communities thrive.”
Small business owners surveyed said they count on an average of 29 percent of annual sales to happen during the holiday season. Fifty-nine percent of those SMB owners said Small Business Saturday is a boon to their business.
They also expressed optimism about the upcoming holiday shopping season – 8 out of 10 surveyed said they feel good about this year’s sales, and over two-thirds said they expect sales to be stronger than last year. Half of the small business owners asked about the holiday shopping season said they would keep their stores open longer, and about a third said they plan on hiring more workers to keep up with demand.
Small Business Saturday is a nationwide movement powered by American Express and through the Small Business Saturday Coalition, made up of national, state and local associations that organize activities and marketing materials for small businesses. An estimated 2.2 million small businesses participated.
The movement was also visible on social media posts with the hashtags #ShopSmall and #SmallBizSat. Next year, Small Business Saturday will be celebrated on Nov. 30.