Remember Small Business Saturday? Hopefully you do as it may have been a big part of your holiday shopping in 2012. Saturday, November 24, 2012 was the day and the effect on the economy from participants shopping small has recently been released. “Consumers spent $5.5 billion at participating independent retailers, surpassing estimates of $5.3 billion, according to the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express. American Express reported that transactions at small business merchants increased approximately 21 percent compared to last year.” [source]
Established in 2010, Small Business Saturday is proof that consumers want to shop in their neighborhoods and feel they can make a direct impact on their economy. As the awareness of the day spread many buyers even took to their computers to buy from local merchants in their towns online. According to Los Angeles based Keyword Pros, an agency specializing in search engine traffic that ran a report for the week after Thanksgiving, ” The study of click traffic and expenditures for the weekend left Cyber Monday and Black Friday in the dust. Expenditures over last year increased 3% for those small businesses that Saturday while Friday and Monday were down 3% and 4% respectively.” [source] Now that is exciting!
The shift to buy local seems to be making headway. A quick Google search will show that towns across the country implented their own versions of Small Business Saturday encouraging their town members to spend at least 10% this holiday at their nearby choices. One of those campaigns happened in South Portland calling it the “10% Shift”. “A study was recently completed in Western Michigan, detailing the effects of a 10% Shift, of annual purchases to Local Independents, by the 600,000 residents studied. The results are staggering. In one year, this modest behavior change would:
- Create 1600 jobs, reducing unemployment by .5%
- Create $137 Million in new economic activity for the area.
- Create over $53 Million in new wages.”
If all it takes for us to make that much of a change to our economy is 10% than you have to agree, why not?