By Robert H. Nelson

SBA Massachusetts District Office

All across the Commonwealth, Thanksgiving is bringing families together and kicking off our favorite shopping season with Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Small Business Saturday going on its tenth year.

Created in the midst of a recession to help small businesses capture a larger piece of the critical holiday season spending, the #ShopSmall movement celebrates the incredible contributions that our small businesses make to local communities and to the American economy.

Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been a formal cosponsor of Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express the year prior.  In 2018, an estimated 104 million U.S. consumers reported shopping or dining at local independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday.  According to an NFIB survey, last year, U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday spent a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion in sales generated that day.

Small businesses are the anchors in our local communities across Massachusetts, playing a vital role in our economy by creating about two out of three new jobs.  It’s also important to remember that, for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community.  So when you shop small on Small Business Saturday — and throughout the year — it can have a big economic impact on where you shop and live.

While many of us are making plans for our holiday shopping, I encourage everyone to make sure you include visiting local small businesses to find those perfect gifts for family and friends.  Visit your favorite stores, and a few new ones to show your support for small businesses.  Don’t forget to post your experiences to social media — using #ShopSmall.

Show your love and support for the small shops and restaurants that make up the fabric of your local community. Supporting our small businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year ensures their success, which will help grow and sustain vibrant and thriving downtowns across Massachusetts for today and the future.

Bob Nelson is the district director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Massachusetts District Office.