Shopping at independent shops helps communities

By Calvin W. Goings Regional administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates small businesses each and every day.

When our small businesses do well, our communities do well.

That’s why, as part of our annual tradition, we are asking you to join millions of Americans and “shop small” on Saturday.

Small Business Saturday marks a day to support the local businesses that create jobs, boost the economy and enrich our neighborhoods.

Studies show that the money spent at local small businesses goes right back into our local economy. Consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday spent an estimated $5.7 billion with independent merchants last year.

And that’s good for everyone.

I’ve seen firsthand the impact small businesses make on our economy.

For example, since launching their business in 2009 at the tail end of the recession, KuKuRuZa Gourmet Popcorn of Seattle has grown from one to 12 locations in less than three years. (In addition to three locations in King County, the chain has sites in Saudia Arabia, Egypt, Japan and South Korea.)

With the help of an SBA backed loan, they opened a 5,400-square-foot distribution center. Now their company employs more than 30 people and will balloon up to nearly 70 employees during the holiday season.

That’s why during this upcoming holiday season, SBA and our partners are actively promoting Small Business Saturday.

Working with local business districts and chambers of commerce, we are encouraging entrepreneurs to open their businesses on this day, for our fellow neighbors to buy local goods and services and most importantly to shop small.

Will you join us? You can help by participating in a local business district or community organizing event for Small Business Saturday. Additionally, when you are planning your holiday shopping season, we encourage you to start in your neighborhood and work with your local small businesses to find those perfect gifts.

Small business owners are integral to the rich fabric of our neighborhoods; they are the engines to our local economy. They have energy and a passion for what they do, and when we support small businesses, jobs are created and local communities preserve their unique culture and character.

I know I’ll be shopping small with my friends and family on Saturday. I encourage you to gather your neighbors and colleagues to shop small on Small Business Saturday, too.