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It’s That Time of the Year to Shop Small

By Bernard J. Paprocki



Support small retailers on Small Business Saturday

Bernard J. Paprocki

In between the big-box holidays of Black Friday and Cyber Monday sits Small Business Saturday, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year — on Nov. 30. Created to help small businesses to capture a larger piece of the critical holiday season spending, this nationally recognized day celebrates the incredible contributions that small businesses make to their local communities and to the American economy. 

Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been a formal co-sponsor of Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express the year prior. In 2018, an estimated 104 million U.S. consumers reported shopping or dining at local, independently owned businesses on Small Business Saturday. According to an NFIB survey, in 2018 U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retailers and restaurants on the day spent a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion. 

It’s no secret that small businesses across upstate New York create two of every three net new jobs and are vital to the health of our local economy. Some of those owners are entering their very first holiday season and offer a new opportunity to shop small. Entrepreneur Amy Wilson used Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC) counseling to open Mixed Methods in downtown Syracuse this fall, featuring artists’ work and handcrafted, unique gifts. Others like Jean-Pierre Lavigne are expanding just in time for the holidays, opening a new bicycle shop location in Potsdam with help from SBA microlender Adirondack Economic Development Corporation.

While many of you are making plans for your holiday shopping, I encourage you to make sure you include visiting local small businesses to find those perfect gifts for family and friends. Visit your favorite stores and even a few new ones too and be sure to show your support for small businesses on social media using #shopsmall. While you’re out shopping, choose to eat at a locally owned restaurant and to keep supporting your community. Entrepreneur Sarah Lukens made her dream a reality with SBA-backed financing from Berkshire Bank to purchase Tamarack Café this fall, choosing to invest in her future and her community of Inlet. 

On Nov. 30, shoppers can join in by getting out and shopping small. Shoppers can show their love and support for the small shops and restaurants that are an important part of their local communities and that they can call their own. If you are a small-business owner, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday shopping season by checking out helpful advice at Supporting our small businesses on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year ensures their successes, as well as sustaining vibrant and thriving upstate New York communities for many years to come.    

Bernard J. Paprocki is district director for the SBA’s Syracuse district office. He is responsible for the delivery of SBA’s financial programs and business-development services for a 34-county region in upstate New York.

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