(Opinion) Support local businesses: shop small for the holidays … and every day
As the New England regional administrator for the U.S. Small Business Administration, I work every day alongside staff in your state to support the 1.5 million small businesses in our region of the country. We have been through some very challenging times due to the pandemic, but together we have been able to keep businesses open, growing and employees on the payrolls. As we head into the holiday season, it’s a time to think local and shop small. It makes sense on so many levels to travel locally to shop and to invest your hard-earned dollars back into your community.
As mentioned, for two years, the pandemic stripped us of spending time on the quintessential New England experience of shopping our beautiful downtowns, villages and neighborhoods, but this year we don’t have to. In fact, last year marked a strong return to the traditional holiday shopping season, with a high turnout for Small Business Saturday.
This year, Small Business Saturday was held on Nov. 26, marking the 13th celebration of this event. Celebrated each year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to make an impact in their community by supporting independently owned businesses during the holiday season. The SBA is proud to be a co-sponsor of Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express in 2010.
Last year, shoppers came together in full force to support their local communities, and Small Business Saturday hit a record high with an estimated $23.3 billion in reported spending at independent retailers and restaurants on that day.
We all have choices for our holiday shopping; thankfully our region of the country offers many small business options to shop and dine.
The choice is yours, and we hope you will consider shopping small whenever possible this holiday season.
Shopping small is a way to show support for the businesses who help keep our communities vibrant. Our local shops and restaurants depend on our continued support.
Mike Vlacich is New England regional administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. He oversees agency activities in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.