SCARSDALE, NY – Saturday, November 26, is a big day for local, independently owned businesses in Scarsdale. It’s Small Business Saturday, kicking off “Small Shopping” events that emphasize the power of dollars spent in local communities.
Small Business Saturday falls between the major retail shopping holiday of Black Friday which tends to favor national brands and Cyber Monday, an online shopping event that takes place this year on November 28th.
Here are some of the local businesses participating in this year’s event:
- Martines Fine Bake Shoppe, 48 East Parkway, Scarsdale
- Green Organic Market, 275 Central Park Street, Hartsdale
- Choice Pet Supply, 1 Palmer Ave. Scarsdale
For many who don’t have the range of established national chains to roam during the pandemic disruptions of COVID-19, fourth quarter sales could make the difference between suspending or closing their stores.
Last year, Small Business Saturday sales exceeded $23 billion. Since the first Small Business Saturday in 2010, consumers have spent an estimated $163 billion, according to American Express, a longtime sponsor of the event.
By most estimates, two-thirds of every dollar spent in a local business remains in the community. There is a little more to this than the so-called “domestic multiplier effect,” according to the Independent Business Alliance of America.
A study from that group found that, on average, 48 percent of every purchase at a local independent business is recycled locally, compared to less than 14 percent of purchases at chain stores.
Small businesses are usually defined by the federal government as those with 500 to 1,500 employees, depending on the industry. They are responsible for two out of three jobs over the past 25 years, according to the Department of Labor. Even a partial collapse of small businesses can weaken the US economy in general.
Americans seem to understand how dangerous small business can be.
Nearly four in five (79 percent) say small businesses are essential in their communities, according to a new survey of 1,000 adults conducted by Teneo on behalf of Kabbage by American Express.
The past two years have been tough as business owners tailored their business models to weather the pandemic, but now many are wondering if they will be able to survive.
Nearly a quarter (24 percent) of companies surveyed by American Express at Cabbage said the volume of holiday sales will determine whether they continue into 2023.
Another measure of traders’ concerns: Members of the National Confederation of Independent Business gave their lowest-ever economic forecast in a June survey.
Raising their concerns are severe inflation that they fear will keep customers away and supply chain challenges that could make it difficult to stock items consumers want, according to the latest MetLife & US Chamber of Commerce Small Business Index. Among the specific results:
- 50% of small businesses say inflation is the biggest challenge, up 31 percentage points from the third quarter of 2021;
- 71% of small businesses believe that when it comes to inflation and price increases, the worst is yet to come;
- Thirty-one percent of small business owners say their local economy is healthy, down 6 percentage points this quarter.
Small businesses are using new strategies from managing inventory to investing in marketing tools and payment transactions, but they are also increasingly relying on credit, according to Cabbage’s survey by American Express.
About 21 percent of small business owners plan to take out a small business loan this holiday season. Nearly a third (32 percent) planned to use the loan to cover costs to support their business, from inventory bills to common cash flow gaps.
Among the new strategies small businesses are using are meeting their customers on social media, and moving beyond Facebook, Instagram, and others to TikTok, a platform of choice for Gen Z. This year, American Express and TikTok teamed up to give eligible small business owners a chance to earn $100 in TikTok’s ad credits, expanding its reach to new generations of local business supporters.
A recent Shop Small Impact study found that nearly two-thirds of TikTok users (people born between 1997-2012) shopped at a small business they saw advertised on the platform.
Americans in general seem to understand how dangerous the independent business can be this year.
More than half (53 percent) of the 2022 holiday shoppers surveyed said they plan to shop or eat at an independently owned business or restaurant this year.
That’s up from 42 percent of last year’s shoppers.