Shoppers browse artisan crafts and other shops on the Marietta Square in 2018. Small Business Saturday brought out many people last year looking for unique gifts. It occurs Sat., Nov. 30 this year.

Opinion: Remember small businesses in holiday shopping

Please join us in celebrating the 10th year of Small Business Saturday this November 30th! Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to kick off the busy holiday shopping season and make an impact in their community by supporting independently owned businesses. Each year, we encourage entrepreneurs to leverage Small Business Saturday to help drive more traffic to their businesses – whether it’s through their storefront doors or to their website during the holiday shopping season.

Last year, thousands of communities in all 50 states—as well as U.S. territories and Washington, D.C. — rallied their friends and neighbors to celebrate the day, and in 2018 an estimated 104 million U.S. consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday. The total reported spending among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day reached a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion in 2018 according to the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB). We want to continue and grow this trend, because we all know how important America’s 30 million small businesses are to our economy and to overall job creation.

We realize that you have a choice to make when shopping for the holidays and for every day of the year. I just ask that you consider your community and the entrepreneurs that support your local economy; they are your neighbors and your colleagues. You can make a difference this holiday season by choosing to shop small and dine small.

Please consider the impact Small Business Saturday makes on small businesses such as Sweet Roots Hair Bar located in downtown Atlanta near the Atlanta University Center. 2019 SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year, Labriah (Bree) Holt, Owner, has created a salon to cater to every hair type using only plant- based products. Bree’s small business has filled a true niche in the community where she serves black women, multicultural women, and women with textured hair. Bree explains that “it is a challenge for professional women on the go to find that safe space to get our hair done without driving long distances or trying someone new all the time.” Bree not only runs a successful business in a thriving community that needs her services, but she gives back to the community she serves. Bree has interns and apprentices from the local universities learning not only how to style hair, but also how to run a business. Bree also has programs to style and assist young women in need who are going to prom. As a former lawyer, NFL cheerleader and community leader, Bree has found her calling in founding Sweet Roots Hair Bar. This Small Business Saturday, we encourage you to shop local and know that your gifts keep on giving deep into the roots of your own community.

I encourage you to join me and the more than 100 million Americans in shopping and dining small on Small Business Saturday as you begin (or maybe complete!) your holiday shopping. Be sure to share your stories and where you’re shopping via social media using #ShopSmall. See you on November 30th!

By Ashley D. Bell is regional administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration and White House Policy Advisor for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.

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