StorefrontsTwo days after Thanksgiving, people have properly awakened from their food comas and, in addition to Googling turkey soup recipes, are starting to think about purchases for the holiday season. Luckily, the social movement of Small Business Saturday has a massive following, and, with a little effort, will get people coming through your door during this special time of year.

A Tradition Emerges

Community-minded shoppers have been supporting their local small businesses the Saturday after Thanksgiving since November 27, 2010. Known as Small Business Saturday, the event received official designation from the US Senate the following year. By 2012, 73.9 million people were going out to support their local business community, and the tradition has continued strong ever since, even spreading to other countries such as the United Kingdom. Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday gives customers the opportunity to visit brick and mortar stores and give them an extra push for the holiday season. They will be greeted by enthusiastic employees and a warm, comforting environment.

Why Small Businesses Are Important

In many ways, small businesses form the true backbone of the American economy. The United States contains over thirty million small businesses, making up 97% of all businesses nationwide. In terms of employment, small businesses have created more than two-thirds of new jobs in the US in the last two decades, and over half of all US employees work for a small business. Moreover, small businesses are indicative of the American spirit. For many entrepreneurs, the small business model is the best way to realize their dreams while remaining a part of the community. From Paul Revere’s tinkering shop to today’s hippest bakery, small businesses are what make your area special.

Keeping It In The Neighborhood

Small Business Saturday has become a rallying point for many communities. Individuals and local organizations that actively pledge support for the day are known as Neighborhood Champions. Their numbers approach 1,500 a year. Of course, many more people express their support in the form of dollars: an estimated $14.3 billion was spent at small independent businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2014. Many politicians support this new tradition as well on the local, state and national level. Last year, President Obama celebrated the day by visiting an independent bookstore in Northwest Washington, D.C.

For many Americans, Thanksgiving is about family. While Black Friday and Cyber Monday may appeal to the wallet, Small Business Saturday can additionally provide a sense of family that extends to the wider community. More and more shoppers are looking for that Main Street experience at a real store with people they can interact with and relate to. Make sure this Small Business Saturday is one for the books.