Chamber Chat - Small Business Saturday 2018

Nov 18

By Meg Moss


Saturday, November 24th is Small Business Saturday. Yes, the day after the largest shopping day of the year, Black Friday. Black Friday is filled with big dollar savings, long lines and a large interest in holiday shopping. After you have recovered from black Friday, we encourage you to enjoy Small Business Saturday. You can find tons of Christmas and other holiday gifts at small businesses in Lee County while skipping the standing in line at 4 am.


Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010. It encourages people to support small, local businesses. Since 2010, many individuals, businesses, and communities have embraced the idea nationwide. According to American Express, via a video on the Shop Small website, “for communities to thrive, small businesses need to thrive. That’s why {we} founded Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to helping small businesses get more customers through their doors on the Saturday after Thanksgiving.”


Due to the excitement over the 2010 Small Business Saturday, local and federal government voiced their support for Small Business Saturday, and it has continued to grow. Locally, Sanford Mayor Chet Mann is proclaiming November 24th, 2018 as Small Business Saturday. The proclamation includes statements such as “small businesses represent 99.7 percent of all the businesses with employees in the United States and account for 65 percent of net new jobs created over the past 20 years; 90 percent of consumers say Small Business Saturday has had a positive impact on their community; 89 percent of consumers who are aware of Small Business Saturday said the day encourages them to Shop Small all year long; and the most reported reason for consumers aware of the day to shop and dine at small, independently owned businesses, was to support their community.”  The proclamation by Mayor Mann continues by stating that he “urge(s) the residents of our community, and communities across the country, to support small businesses and merchants on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year.”


According to the 2017 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, produced by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business, 108 million shoppers spent $12.9 billion last year.


Ahead of the event, nine in 10 U.S. consumers reported that the event “has had a positive impact on their community,” and “inspires them to explore new independently-owned retailers and restaurants.”


And, in more good news for small business owner, “as much as 80 percent of all consumers surveyed say at least some of their holiday shopping will be done at small, independently-owned retailers or restaurants,” according to the report.


The most popular businesses frequented, according to the survey, were restaurants, bars and pubs (41 percent), clothing and accessories stores (24 percent), food stores (23 percent) and coffee shops (22 percent).


For all you small business owners, if you haven’t scheduled any Shop Small promotions, you should visit for ideas. It’s not too late.


And for you shoppers out there – you have a chance to “Win What You Spend”! Post a photo on Facebook of your purchase made on the 24th  from a small local Chamber member along with #ShopSanfordNC, submit to us your receipt (via Facebook messenger or emailing it to, and you’ll be entered into a drawing to win back up to $250 of your purchase!


It’s important for large and small businesses to work together to strengthen our Lee County economy as a whole. For every “big business” job created, that’s an additional customer for small business. So on November 24th, and all throughout the year, Shop Small.

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Timothy Sloan
Lee County Comissioner

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