Sylvester Smith, Arkansas state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, says holiday shoppers can make a big difference in their communities by shopping at small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving.
“Black Friday is when a lot of people like to get up early and line up outside the department stores, but if you’re looking for something unique and want to support your friends and neighbors, then you need to support Small Business Saturday,” he said.
Small Business Saturday is Nov. 24.
The holiday shopping season is crucial to the state’s small businesses, which are still recovering from the slowdown in the economy. State-specific data isn’t available yet, but according to the NFIB Small-Business Optimism Index for October, the number one problem facing small businesses remains weak sales.
“Small business is what our local economy is all about,” Smith said, “and if we’re going to create jobs in this state, we need a healthy small-business community.”
According to the inaugural Small Business Saturday Insights Survey, released Nov. 8 by NFIB and American Express, nearly half of all independent merchants plan to incorporate Small Business Saturday into their holiday marketing plans, while 67 percent plan to offer special discounts on Saturday, Nov. 24. Click here to learn more about the Small Business Saturday Insights survey.
Supporting small businesses at the holidays pays dividends throughout the year, Smith said.
“Small and independent business owners are among the most generous supporters of civic groups, local charities, youth sports, schools and virtually every other form of community activity,” he said. “Shopping locally is a great way for people to help their friends and neighbors and create jobs and opportunities in the places where they live.”