Make an Impact: Shop Small


In 2010, financial services giant American Express launched a promotion aimed at small business vitality along Main Streets, U.S.A.

It’s called Small Business Saturday® (SBS) and occurs on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, meaning it’s sandwiched between mega-shopping events, Black Friday and Cyber Monday. SBS encourages consumers to ‘shop small’ in their respective home towns. More times than not, shopping locally means shopping at family-owned businesses. Even nationally-branded shops are likely operated by a local franchise holder, who could be a neighbor, volunteer coach, and planning commission member all rolled into one.

Small adds up. American Express says local spending on SBS has reached a reported $103 billion from those nine designated days from 2010-2018. Another study says for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., around 67 cents stays in the local community. This equates to wages, taxes, chamber memberships, and donations to just about every worthy cause.

Little events get big attention. In 2011, the U.S. Senate put gridlock aside and unanimously passed a resolution of support for SBS. Community boosters in all fifty states are on-board with unique SBS promotions. On several occasions, President Obama took his daughters shopping on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. He even offered a shout-out to SBS supporters, “From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high-tech start-ups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise. These businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America, helping spur economic development in communities across our country and giving millions of families and individuals the opportunity to achieve the American dream. Through events such as Small Business Saturday, we keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century.”

From framed artwork to artisan jewelry and from hearty soups, burgers, and brews, all can be found in central business districts in the St. Croix Valley. Let’s shop them on November 30th. Better yet, let’s shop them year ‘round.