The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Wisconsin District is encouraging neighbors across the Badger State to shop small as the holiday season kicks off this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
This is the 11th anniversary of Small Business Saturday®, which the SBA has proudly been a national co-sponsor of for the last 10 years, according to SBA Wisconsin District Director Eric Ness, who oversees all the federal agency’s operations in Wisconsin.
“Small businesses throughout the Badger State need our support now, more than ever. Wisconsinites can think big by shopping small and do their part to help the backbone of the American economy navigate, retool and pivot in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19,” says SBA Wisconsin District Director Ness. “The holidays might look a little different for 2020, but we can still share joy and a sense of community by shopping small and supporting our favorite small businesses, and their employees, all holiday season – and year – long.” To leverage the momentum generated by Small Business Saturday throughout Wisconsin’s holiday season, SBA Wisconsin is also collaborating with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.’s holiday small business promotion, “We’re All in For Shopping Local.”
By patronizing independently-owned businesses on Small Business Saturday – between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to make a lasting positive impact in their community. Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has continued to provide small business owners with a big economic boost during the holiday shopping season. Last year, Ness recounted that 110 million consumers shopped small and spent a total of $20 billion in local shops and restaurants across the country.
This year, the landscape is different because of the pandemic and disruption it has caused. In fact, these businesses, many family-owned, were already fighting for survival against malls, big box stores and online retailers. E-commerce and contactless shopping and curbside pickup remain preferences of 73% of people surveyed by Deloitte in its annual holiday season economic forecast. Additionally, the survey notes most shoppers, 51%, feel anxious about shopping physically in a store. And, in their adaptive spirit, many entrepreneurs have adjusted to serve customers safely with mask requirements, updated online ordering and more, with the help of SBA resources.
“While state- and locally-instituted temporary closures and capacity restrictions, as well as a change in product and service demand have led to unprecedented challenges for small business owners, the ‘Shop Small’ movement continues,” said SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott. “By shopping small and supporting your favorite small businesses — in store with appropriate precautions as well as online — shoppers will be making significant contributions to overcome the economic hardships brought on by this pandemic and positively impact their communities.
“In Wisconsin small business owners have accounted for a combination of 127,148 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling more than $11.8 billion,” continued Scott. “This economic relief has benefitted them, but it is also a reminder that local small business owners still are navigating the effects of the pandemic and continue to need our help.”
Supporting Ness, Scott added that “during this time of uncertainty, Wisconsinites can get out in person or shop small virtually. Even an old-fashioned phone call to a local merchant works. Countless independently owned retailers and restaurants throughout Wisconsin are counting on us this Small Business Saturday®. I encourage supporters to share their Small Business Saturday experience with the SBA by tagging the local office on Twitter at @SBA_Wisconsin and using #ShopSmall.”
Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been a formal cosponsor of Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express in 2010. Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to make an impact in their community by supporting independently owned businesses during the holiday season. Small businesses help to spur economic growth in communities across our country and add vibrance and strength to our nation. For additional information on Small Business Saturday, visit www.sba.gov/saturday.