Small Business Saturday: Celebrating Main Street Resilience
Small businesses have always held a special place in the hearts of communities across the United States. They are the backbone of local economies and the embodiment of the American dream. From coastal California to rural Iowa, small businesses reflect the diversity of each city and town’s unique identity, helping to foster innovation and entrepreneurship while boosting the local economy.
History of Small Business Saturday
Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support local businesses and their contributions to our communities. The event takes place the Saturday after Thanksgiving, falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
What started as an annual event to recognize small businesses and help them face the economic challenges faced by small businesses after the Great Recession has now grown into a nationwide movement that encourages consumers to “shop small” and celebrate the vital role small businesses play in our communities. According to research from American Express, Small Business Saturday drove an estimated $17.9 billion in spending in 2022.
Impact on Local Economies
Small Business Saturday gives small business owners a special day to showcase their products and services, gain exposure to customers and foster lasting relationships throughout the rest of the year. Many small businesses offer special promotions or host community events on Small Business Saturday. The event provides a valuable platform for small business owners to showcase their entrepreneurial spirit and unique offerings.
However, the ripple effect of shopping at local businesses extends far beyond the storefront. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, nearly two-thirds of net new jobs are from small businesses, generating roughly half of the country’s economic output.
Small Business Saturday is about more than just shopping and finding great deals. It’s a day of community, connection and celebration. Local businesses often serve as gathering places and hubs of cultural exchange, making neighborhoods richer and more diverse. By supporting these independent local businesses, we help sustain the livelihoods of our neighbors, friends and families.
Significance of Small Business Saturday
Small businesses have weathered numerous challenges throughout history–with the COVID-19 pandemic being one of them. Many of them have struggled to survive, which makes Small Business Saturday more important than ever.
OnDeck is proud to support Main Street small businesses throughout their journey, making the process of starting and funding a business less challenging. Throughout our company’s history, we’ve extended over $13 billion in capital to more than 170,000 small businesses and counting. Our customers are your neighbors–ice cream shops, auto shops, dentist offices–that make your community unique. Each day, we are honored to play a role in their journey to build strong communities, foster economic resilience, and help them thrive.
Small Business Saturday has become a lifeline for these entrepreneurs, offering a much-needed boost during the crucial holiday season. Yet, small businesses continue to face significant challenges, including:
- Access to Capital: Access to capital is one of the most common challenges that small businesses face. For starters, many traditional financial institutions consider newer companies as high-risk, making it difficult for them to secure loans. This lack of funding can hinder growth, limit inventory purchases, and create cash flow problems, especially in the early stages of a business.
- Entrepreneurship Empowerment: Many individuals venture into starting small businesses propelled by a dream and vision and end up facing roadblocks regarding knowledge, resources and mentorship, which can lead to burnout and disillusionment. Proper guidance and support are necessary to empower small business owners and help them overcome these challenges.
- Local Impact: Small businesses play a crucial role in local communities, from creating jobs to sponsoring local events. However, they often struggle with visibility and local engagement as they compete against larger chains or online giants that can offer lower prices due to economies of scale. Small businesses need robust strategies to market their unique selling points and strengthen ties with their community.
- Regulatory Hurdles: Small businesses, particularly those just starting out, can be overwhelmed by the myriad of regulations, licenses and permits required. Staying compliant can be a challenge, especially when policies change or when entering new markets.
- Talent Acquisition and Retention: While small businesses can provide a close-knit community that many professionals crave, they often face challenges in providing competitive salaries, benefits, and growth opportunities, making talent acquisition and retention an ongoing challenge.
Celebrating Small Business Success Stories
Small Business Saturday is not only a day to support local businesses but also a day to celebrate their stories of success. These success stories are a testament to the power of small businesses in driving economic growth and fostering innovation. However, many small businesses face the daunting challenge of competing with larger, well-established corporations–another reason why Small Business Saturday is so important.
As we gather with family and friends during Thanksgiving, let’s remember the local businesses that make our communities unique and vibrant. Support them not just on Small Business Saturday but throughout the year because their success is our success, and together, we can build a stronger and more prosperous future for all.