Small Business

Leading up to Small Business Saturday SBA Director Encourages New Jerseyans to Shop Small

U.S. Small Business Administration New Jersey District Director Al Titone knows just how important Small Business Saturday® can be to local merchants this Saturday, November 25. That is why he is leading the charge to make sure people around New Jersey get out and support small businesses by shopping small in their local neighborhoods.

“This is typically one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year and can make or break a small business,” said Titone. “Supporting local shops and restaurants helps set the tone for these small business owners to get off to a great start this holiday season.”

Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday®, which was started by American Express in 2010, has given a big boost to small business owners across the country.  Last year, 112 million consumers went out to shop small and spent a total of $15.4 billion in local shops and restaurants across America.

“Small Business Saturday® is an opportunity for us all to get behind neighborhood businesses that are the foundation of many thriving New Jersey communities, said Titone. “These businesses hire locals, stabilize our downtowns, make their communities destination spots, and contribute to growing our local economy.”

According to Titone, New Jersey small retailers employ 159,000 workers, which accounts for 35 percent of retail employment throughout the state.  There are approximately 71,000 small business retailers in New Jersey.  Of that total, there are a little over 20,200 retailers in New Jersey that employ between 1-20 employees.  There are also another 49,300 retailers scattered throughout the state that are considered sole proprietors and have no employees.    “So when someone spends $100 at a local small business, $68 stays in our local economy,” added Titone.  “If that same $100 is spent at a large big box business, only $43 stays in our local economy.”

In addition to retailers, Titone also noted that there are nearly 18,000 eating and drinking establishments in New Jersey.  They employ 330,900 workers; make up 8 percent of employment in the state: and account for $16.3 billion in sales.  “Restaurants are equally important to New Jersey’s economy and we want to emphasize that small restaurants also depend on local holiday shoppers to stop by for lunch or dinner after a full-day of shopping,” said Titone.

“Many successful retailers and restaurateurs are masters of providing their customers with exceptional service as well as a quality product or services that makes it a great shopping or dining experience,” added Titone.  “These small business owners are savvy enough to know that in order to compete that they must keep up with the times by offering digital coupons or using social media outlets to attract new shoppers.   Engaging customers is one part of the strategy, turning them into raving fans and repeat customers is the other part of the equation.”

“You also have to make it easier for your customers and adapt to their needs,” said Titone. “According to Square’s 2016 payments survey, 45 percent of millennials have already adopted mobile payments.  And TechCrunch estimates that by the end of the year, 70 percent of mobile users will have used their mobile devices to pay. You have to keep with the trends in order to compete or you get left behind.”

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