Americans are showing their support for small businesses in ever-increasing numbers, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. Underscoring this outpouring of support, is the increased amount of consumer awareness for the seventh annual Small Business Saturday. According to the NFIB’s Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, an estimated 112 million consumers (or 72%) reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, marking a 13 percent increase in 2016 over 2015.
Nationwide, nearly 7,000 regional small business groups such as the Neighborhood Champions put on events in commemoration of Small Business Saturday. The survey also reported there was an increase of 13% year over year in the amount of organizations that joined the Small Business Saturday Coalition – to the tune of over 480 organizations. The coalition was developed in 2011 to provide more awareness for Small Business Saturday and to emphasize the importance small businesses play in the overall U.S. economy.
Small Business Saturday 2016 took on significance from local and national government officials in all 50 states including President Obama, who issued a letter recognizing Small Business Saturday in 2016. In addition, the United States Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating November 26th, 2016, as Small Business Saturday. Around the country, 651 City proclamations in support of Small Business Saturday were issued by mayors and other elected officials.
The Small Business Saturday survey results also found a larger number of people shopping at small business brick and mortar stores. Of the consumers who shopped at independent retail establishments, the survey cited that more than 81-percent “encouraged” others to dine or shop at smaller stores and restaurants as well.
The online efforts to promote more shopping and customers at small businesses saw increases with a striking 135 million “social media engagements” – up from 85 million in 2015.
“When you are running a small online retail business like us, promotions like Small Business Saturday promote customers thinking small and local for a change,” explains Sujoy Bhattacharya, owner of Falls River Soap Company, a handmade soap company in Solon, Ohio.
“It’s exciting for us to see the record number of consumers who came out in support of independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, EVP of Global Advertising and Media at American Express. “People across the country are aware of the benefits that small businesses can bring to the community.”
At Imperial Advance, our small business clients represent many of the most creative and entrepreneurial businesses in the country and the working capital solutions we are able to provide help these business succeed. While Small Business Saturday happens only once per year, our team is available 24/7/365 to help our clients realize their financial and business goals.