The concept was started as a marketing campaign by American Express in 2010. There are over 23 million small businesses in the United States, which is a 49 % increase from 1982. Small businesses have created 8 million jobs since 1990, and 54% of U.S. sales happen at small businesses. Franchised small businesses employ roughly 8 million people, and are responsible for 40 percent of all American retail jobs. According to an SBA civic economics study, small businesses  donate 250% more than large corporations to nonprofits and local community causes. The study also said that out of $100 spent at a local small business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy. Comparatively, only about $43 out of $100 spent at a larger business.

In 2012 the National Federation of Independent Business and American Express estimated that Small Business Saturday shoppers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at smaller retailers. 95 million people went out to shop small during the 2015 event. Spending reached $16.2 billion, which was a 14 percent increase from 2014. A National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics survey said, “A substantial 47 percent (of regular shoppers) are expected to shop Small Business Saturday; of those shoppers, 24 percent say they will be doing so specifically to support Small Business Saturday.”

Survey data shows that 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday

The number of shoppers who showed their support for Main Street on the seventh annual Small Business Saturday in 2016 set a new record for the retail event; representing a 13 percent increase over the year prior, according to the Post-Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express. The holiday shopping season mega event last year, saw 108 million shoppers spend $12.9 billion on Nov. 25 at independently owned businesses. That is a slight downturn from the 112 million shoppers spending more than $15 billion in 2016. The Consumer Insights Survey also reported, that four in ten, or 43 percent of American adults either shopped or dined small. Survey data shows that 70 percent of U.S. consumers are aware of Small Business Saturday, and 58 percent said they shopped or dined at more than one independently owned business. What’s more, support for small businesses went beyond brick-and-mortar with 35 percent saying they shopped online.

There were also more than 7,200 “neighborhood champions,” which included associations, chambers of commerce and community organizers like us here at Timbr Technologies. Across the country we collectively engaging more than 2 million small businesses nationwide.

Learn the full Small Business Saturday history.