Originally conceived by American Express in 2010 and officially cosponsored by the Small Business Administration since 2011, Small Business Saturday has become a staple of the holidays shopping season in the United States. Founded to support local and independent businesses who have a hard time competing with large corporations on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, projected Small Business Saturday sales amounted to $19.8 billion last year.
“This year, we know that small businesses need our support now more than ever as they navigate, retool and pivot from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic,” the Small Business Administration wrote to underline the importance of the initiative this year.
As the following chart shows, small businesses, especially in retail, are a major jobs motor in the United States. According to U.S. Census data, more than 10 million people in retail trade worked at establishments with less than 100 employees in 2019. Almost five million worked at places with less than 20 employees, indicating that buying locally and independent doesn’t just support a small business, but all the people who depend on that business.