How To Participate In Small Business Saturday

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Barack Obama Small Business Saturday
U.S. President Barack Obama and his daughters Malia (center) and Sasha (partly hidden) interact with Upshur Street Books manager Anna Thorn as they buy books from the store in Washington D.C., Nov. 28, 2015.

This year, the 12th annual Small Business Saturday comes on Nov. 27. The U.S. celebration is held annually on the last Saturday in November around the time there is typically a peak in holiday spending.

The holiday encourages shoppers to purchase items locally from independent retailers and is regarded as a trademark of American Express, which founded the day in 2010, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. 

For the holiday, people are encouraged to invest in their communities rather than large chains. The holiday season, which includes Black Friday and Cyber Monday, sees some of the largest amounts of buying from large retailers instead of small businesses.

However, on Small Business Saturday 2020, a survey commissioned by American Express found that reported spending reached $19.8 billion, up from $19.6 billion in 2019 in spite of the pandemic, highlighting the success of the program.

According to the Small Business Administration, there are almost 32 million independent, small businesses across the nation. Still, small businesses were the most affected by the pandemic while online retailers, like Amazon, profited big. The pandemic continues to affect these smaller businesses.

Similar initiatives to Small Business Saturday encourage people to buy from businesses owned by Black, Indigenous, Latin American, or Asian people to help those communities who are further disproportionately affected by the pandemic and systemic oppression.

Find a participating small business near you here.


Small Business Saturday
A sign reading "Buy Local" with closed restaurants and shops on Main Street on April 10, 2020 in Livingston, Montana.
Photo: William Campbell/Corbis via Getty Images

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