Preparing for Small Business Saturday

SBA Encourages Shopping Small Nov. 28

CLEVELAND, Ohio — The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Northern Ohio District is encouraging neighbors across the northern 28 counties of Ohio to shop small as the holiday season kicks off this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

This is the 11th anniversary of Small Business Saturday, which the SBA has been a national co-sponsor of for the last 10 years, according to SBA Northern Ohio’s District Director Gil Goldberg, who oversees all the federal agency’s operations in northern Ohio.

“Small businesses both rural and urban need our support now, more than ever. Northern Ohioans can think big by shopping small and do their part to help the backbone of the American economy navigate, retool and pivot in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19,” Goldberg says. “The holidays might look a little different for 2020, but we can still share joy and a sense of community by shopping small and supporting our favorite small businesses, and their employees, all holiday season – and year – long.”

By shopping at independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday – between Black Friday and Cyber Monday – consumers make a lasting positive impact in their community, the release states. Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has continued to provide small business owners with a big economic boost during the holiday shopping season.

Last year, 110 million consumers shopped small and spent a total of $20 billion in local shops and restaurants across the country, Goldberg says.

This year, the landscape is different because of the pandemic and disruption it has caused. In fact, these businesses, many family-owned, were already fighting for survival against malls, big box stores and online retailers.

E-commerce and contactless shopping and curbside pickup remain preferences of 73% of people surveyed by Deloitte in its annual holiday season economic forecast. Additionally, the survey notes most shoppers, 51%, feel anxious about shopping physically in a store.

In their adaptive spirit, many entrepreneurs have adjusted to serve customers safely with mask requirements, updated online ordering and more, according to the SBA

“While state- and locally-instituted temporary closures and capacity restrictions, as well as a change in product and service demand have led to unprecedented challenges for small business owners, the ‘Shop Small’ movement continues,” says Rob Scott, SBA Great Lakes regional administrator. “By shopping small and supporting your favorite small businesses – in store with appropriate precautions as well as online – shoppers will be making significant contributions to overcome the economic hardships brought on by this pandemic and positively impact their communities.

“In Ohio, small business owners have accounted for a combination of 231,769 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $22,665,432,141,” Scott continued. “This economic relief has benefitted them, but it is also a reminder that local small business owners still are navigating the effects of the pandemic and continue to need our help.”

Scott encourages shoppers to share their Small Business Saturday experiences online by tagging social media posts with @SBA_Cleveland and using #ShopSmall.

Source: U.S. Small Business Administration’s Northern Ohio District

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.