Learn to ‘shop small’ year-round

For every dollar spent at a local business, 45 cents is reinvested in the community

As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates and supports all small businesses on a daily basis. 

“Shopping small” is a concrete way to support small retailers the same businesses that generate two out of every three net new jobs and deliver essential goods and services to America’s communities 365 days a year. Small businesses also employ more than half of the country’s private workforce. 

Last year, 95 million consumers shopped small and spent more than $16.2 billion. Surveys show that 77 percent of consumers said Small Business Saturday, the day after Black Friday, inspires them to “shop small” throughout the year, and not just for the holidays. In addition, 66 percent of consumers state the main reason they support small business is because of their contributions to the local community. 

New Englanders are passionate about supporting local businesses and the stores lining its Main Streets. These stores are owned and operated by our friends and neighbors. Chances are when you walk into the one of these stores you are going to be greeted by the owner. Continuing to support these local businesses keeps our downtowns energetic.

Shopping small during the holiday season boosts the local economy and helps many of these businesses for the rest of the year. More people shopping small and locally keeps more money invested in New England. According to the local multiplier effect, for every dollar spent at a local business, 45 cents is reinvested in the community. The local multiplier effect is the prosperity created directly from money spent locally. 

You can do your part with these simple steps:

• If you are a business owner, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday shopping season by checking out helpful advice at sba.gov/smallbusinesssaturday.

• If you’re a customer, commit to making at least one purchase from a locally owned small business retailer. Get to know the owner, and make your gift more meaningful by sharing their story as part of what you give your loved ones. 

• Enjoy the experience. Travel outside your comfort zone – and away from your computer screen – to discover an out-of-the ordinary shopping district with some trendy local stores. 

• When you open your gifts, start a conversation about which one came from the most distinctive and creative sellers. This can make for great debate over eggnog or your holiday drink of choice.

Supporting New England small businesses is an investment in the future and prosperity of our region. 

Darcy Carter is acting New England regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Categories: Opinion