Ready, set, go! Mark your calendars for a special event to celebrate America’s small businesses that have become the backbone of our economy. Whether you live in a thriving metropolis, or in a quaint town, small businesses have positively impacted the American economic landscape and have brought our system of production, distribution, and consumption to greatness. Now, with the Covid-19 pandemic, these small and sometimes family-run enterprises are counting on your support on Saturday, November 28th, for the observance of Small Business Saturday 2020. Nationwide, and globally, people are encouraged to support small US businesses that offer unique products, many American designed or made, and indulge in quality foods and services that are second to none.
Small Business Saturday was established in 2011 with the Senate’s unanimous passing of a resolution. Officials and businesses in all 50 states participate in this annual event, aimed at providing exposure to small businesses within communities and encouraging public support of them. The definition of a small business, per the Small Business Administration (SBA), is one with fewer than 500 employees. This includes startups and small companies operated from homes. Per SBA’s 2020 profile, there were 31.7 million small businesses that accounted for a whopping 99.9% of all U.S. businesses. These small enterprises boasted the employment of 60.6 million workers, making up 47.1% of United States employees. Additionally, the number of minority-owned businesses in the US has grown over the years to 1.1 million, made up of mostly small businesses that employ 8.7 million workers. However, the pandemic is critically impacting many small businesses, with a notable decline in business activity among Black owners – who face nearly three times the decline than other owners. By endorsing Small Business Saturday, AMAC seeks to help these businesses keep their doors open, thrive, and remain confident about their future.
When we think of commerce in America, our minds may drift to huge commercial retailers or shopping malls. Today, it is difficult for small businesses to compete with larger ones that can produce and sell items in mass quantities. However, the quality of goods and services purchased from small businesses often are far superior. To help a small business owner is a rewarding experience, for they are among the hardest of workers. To begin and operate a small business requires not only serious financing, but an investment of time, dedication, and personal sacrifice. Regrettably, Investopedia shares somewhat grim data that approximately 20% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 45% during the first five years, and 65% during the first 10 years. In addition, only 25% of new businesses make it to 15 years or more. Apart from competition and overall consumer spending factors, internal issues, such as high taxes or rent, or the ability to retain quality employees, can drive these numbers up. However, small businesses are not without hope as consumer participation can drive up demand and keep their doors open across America. In some cases, the pandemic has made doing business more difficult than usual. For this reason, many are attempting to increase their online presence to keep their businesses going.
For decades, small businesses have positively impacted our neighborhoods and left imprints on our hearts. Picture the small boy who got his first haircut and lollypop at the local barber shop, the teenager who went inside the florist to buy his first crush a single rose, the young lady who bought her elegant prom dress at a local clothing boutique, the young man who bought an engagement ring for his fiancé at the town jeweler, and the family who regularly gathered around the red and white checkered table cloth at the local pizzeria to enjoy a piping hot fresh pie; these businesses are the heartbeat of America. Don’t forget that many small businesses step up to support the community. Often, the owners are members of the local chambers of commerce, they host fundraisers for schools and those facing illness, they chip in for community redevelopment, they decorate for the holidays to spread cheer, and more. Not only do they help the economy by paying taxes and employing people, but they also provide essential goods and services that we all want and need. If you love America, love Main Street USA, and yearn to deliver the same experience to a newer generation of people, please support America’s small businesses. Give them a boost this Saturday, November 28, and be sure to frequent these businesses during the holiday season, and all throughout the year.