Shopping Small Business Saturday helps local economy

Locally owned: Fruit Basket Flowerland
Locally owned: Fruit Basket Flowerland

By Joanne Bailey-Boorsma


We hear a lot about Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but sandwiched in between is probably the one shopping day that has the most impact on a local economy: Small Business Saturday.


Actually launched by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday is designed to encourage people across the country to support small, local businesses. The reason is simple according to Bob O’Callaghan, president and chief executive officer for the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce.


“When you shop at a small business you help feed a local family and their tax dollars stay local,” O’Callaghan said.


According to a recent Forbes magazine article, there are 28 million American small businesses, which account for 54 percent of all U.S. sales.


“The backbone of any economy is the local brick and mortar buildings that belong to the small business,” O’Callaghan said, adding that the Wyoming-Kentwood Chamber of Commerce is made up of 75 percent small and local businesses.


Cheers to the holidays: Cascade Winery
Cheers to the holidays: Cascade Winery

According to Local First of West Michigan, by shifting 10 percent of your spending towards locally owned business helps create up to 1,600 new jobs. The American public appears to be making that shift since according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, commissioned by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses, more than 95 million people shopped small business in 2015, which is an 8 percent increase from the 2014 Small Business Saturday. The survey also shows that more than 16 billion was spent at small independent businesses on the 2015 Small Business Saturday.


“Small Business Saturday is a great entry point to start learning about and supporting local businesses,” said LocalFirst Marketing Manager Mieke Stoub. “We hope that the community continues to support our local economy after the holidays and throughout the year.”