Today … shop local and support Small Business SaturdayEconomicsVirginia

Today is Small Business Saturday, a reminder to shop local and support the Mom-and-Pop stores as well as small businesses in your community.

In 2010, Small Business Saturday (SBS) was created in response to small business owners’ most pressing need: more customers. Falling between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, SBS has taken off as a national movement to drive consumers to shop at local, independently owned businesses during the heaviest shopping weekend of the year.

More than 2.7 million Facebook users, 230 public and private organizations, 75 corporations, and elected officials in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., declared their support in 2011.

In 2011, more than half a million small business owners leveraged an online tool or promotional materials for SBS, and 15,000 businesses signed up for free Facebook advertising to promote their products and services in the run up to SBS. One of the founding partners is American Express.

In Virginia, Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling encouraged shoppers to participate in this year’s event to be held today, Saturday, November 24, 2012, by noting:
 

“I hope that all Virginians will participate in Small Business Saturday. Small businesses are the heart of Virginia’s economy. They make up 98% of all businesses in Virginia. We should do everything possible to lend them a helping hand in this uncertain economy. Please take this opportunity over the holiday weekend to patronize small shops, restaurants and service providers that help Virginia’s economy grow.”

According to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released by the National Federation of Independent Businesses (NFIB) and American Express, 46% of independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday as part of their holiday strategy, and the majority (67%) of them say they will offer discounts on November 24th.

Small businesses are critical to the nation’s overall economy. Over the past two decades, small businesses have generated 65% of net new jobs. Small businesses currently pay 44% of total U.S. private payroll.

Today, shop local.

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