This weekend, millions of Americans will be spending time with the family and friends. This weekend, millions of Americans will also be spending big money on holiday shopping. And many of the shopping days are named thanks to marketing campaigns to drive sales: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and my personal favorite … Small Business Saturday.
Small Business Saturday dates back to 2010, and is a trademarked campaign founded by American Express to promote shopping at local brick-and-mortar businesses. Since its inception 13 years ago, the day has been tremendously successful and driving shoppers into mom and pop shops.
According to the National Retail Federation, last year there were 63.4 million in-store shoppers on Small Business Saturday, up from 51 million in 2021. The NRF says that a majority of those shoppers indicated they shopped specifically for Small Business Saturday.
While last year’s holiday spending surprised even the most expert analysts, this year, analysts predict holiday spending will reach record levels despite (or maybe because of) inflation, gas prices, credit conditions, and interest rates.
With all that said, Nevada’s existing and new small business owners are still struggling. According to the Nevada Small Business Development Center’s 2023 Small Business Challenges Survey results (released just last week) the top challenges for existing business owners were: adapting to inflation, finding new customers, and managing cash flow challenges just to name a few. Adapting to inflation was an even bigger deal in rural areas.
We’ve heard the statistics before — for each dollar spent, independent retailers return more than three times as much into the economy. If half of the U.S. employed population spent $50 each month in locally owned independent businesses, it would generate more than $42.6 billion in revenue.
So, this holiday season, I’m imploring Northern Nevadans to shop local. Not only this Saturday, but every day. Share the love. If you have found an amazing locally-owned business, post on social, tell a friend, shout the store’s name from the rooftops! Because, even though the national experts are saying people are out there spending money, our local stores are still craving to expand their customer base.
The greatest gift of all this holiday season is to make an impact in our local economy by infusing money, capital, and support to those who dare to own their own small business.
NCET is a member-supported nonprofit organization that produces educational and networking events to help people explore business and technology.
Sarah Johns is president and Chief Executive Officer of NCET - Nevada’s Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology. Sarah joined NCET in 2022 when Dave Archer retired after 16 years at the helm.
Sarah has extensive experience in communications and networking with 20 years’ experience in television. She has also worked as Director of Public Relations for a tech startup, and most recently she was the Public Information Officer for the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Sarah was recognized in 2017 by the Reno Tahoe Young Professionals Network as one of Northern Nevada’s 20 Under 40. In 2018, Sarah received the 2018 Sierra Nevada Top-20 Powerful Women award from Northern Nevada Business Weekly.
When not working to further the NCET mission, you can find Sarah spending time with her husband Dave Lawrence Johnson, their two young children, and two rescue dogs.