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Small Business Saturday More Critical Now than Ever

Saturday, November 28, 2020 @ 10:11 AM

Posted by exploreClarion

Clarion-Main-Street-3This year’s Small Business Saturday, which will take place on Saturday, November 28 during Thanksgiving weekend, is an important part of the holiday season for small merchants as they work to recover from the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2019, an estimated 110 million people participated in Small Business Saturday, and sales hit a record high with an estimated $19.6 billion in reported spending. Initially founded in 2010 by American Express in response to the Great Recession, Small Business Saturday has evolved into a year-round global Shop Small campaign to support small merchants, and earlier this year, American Express helped jumpstart spending at small businesses by committing more than $200 million through the company’s largest ever global Shop Small campaign.

“Small Business Saturday is an important part of our global Shop Small campaign, and small businesses need our support more than ever as they continue to navigate the effects of COVID-19,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express. “We know 88% of U.S. consumers feel a personal commitment to support small businesses in the wake of the pandemic. Whether online, curbside or safely in store, we’re reminding consumers that they can help make an impact by shopping small and sharing their favorite small businesses on social media all holiday season long.”

Fortunately, shoppers want to do their part to support small businesses this holiday season – 75% will Shop Small because they want to support their favorite local shops and restaurants during this challenging time, and 42% said they supported a small business on social media. The study also reveals that the effects of COVID-19 have sparked feelings of deep responsibility among consumers to support the places they love this Small Business Saturday and beyond. A large majority of consumers (88%) feel a personal commitment to support small businesses in the wake of the pandemic and in a divided year, 95% of Americans agree that supporting small businesses unites their community.

Almost all (92%) of small business owners have pivoted the way they do business to stay open during the pandemic including selling on social (38%) or a third-party platform (28%), introducing curbside pickup (46%) or contactless delivery (40%).

Now, as the biggest shopping season of the year approaches, 46% of small business owners are counting on above average holiday sales to stay in business in 2021. Sixty-four percent have a positive outlook for their holiday sales and say that Small Business Saturday is more critical than ever. As a result they are innovating by offering extended store hours (41%), using social media as a storefront for the first time (25%), partnering with other businesses in their community to offer something special to customers (25%) and offering giveaways to customers (35%).

Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: getting more customers.

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