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SBA: Shop and Dine Small on Small Business Saturday®

As small merchants and restaurateurs get ready for Small Business Saturday® on November 29th, officials from the U.S. Small Business Administration decided to kick-off the busiest shopping season of the year by visiting two local small businesses in Montclair.

SBA Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet was joined by U.S. Congressman Donald M. Payne Jr. (D-NJ) and SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone as they shopped and dined small to make New Jerseyans aware of the huge impact small businesses have on the local, state and national economy.

“Small businesses are the drivers of the U.S. economy, creating two out of every three net new jobs,” said LeDet. “Their impact on the economy at the local, state and national level cannot be minimized. From spurring economic growth and development, stabilizing and beautifying business corridors and spinning off new industries, they are our nation’s backbone,” she added.

Last year shoppers that visited small businesses on Small Business Saturday® generated $5.7 billion in sales nationally, dollars that helped contribute to the bottom line for these businesses and helped preserve jobs for their employees.

Small Business Saturday® is a day set aside to highlight small businesses and to encourage holiday shoppers to support them and the role they play.

During their visit to Montclair, LeDet and the group met with Dave Adornato, owner of the Montclair Bikery, a popular bicycle shop located on Valley Road. Three years ago, with the help of a $355,000 SBA-backed loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank, Adornato was able to purchase the shop from its previous owner.

“Without the SBA’s loan guarantee program, I would not have been in the position to purchase the business,” said Adornato. “That help has also enabled me to improve the value of my business and expand it over the past three years by increasing my staff to support the rapid growth of my business.”

Out of the 94,980 retailers located in New Jersey, 20,592 have fewer than 20 employees. For small businesses, their holiday shopping season sales provide a huge boost to their bottom line.

“Helping Main Street get off to a good start this holiday season by shopping at your local small businesses as a part of your holiday shopping, is how local residents can reinvest back into their local communities,” said SBA New Jersey District Director Al Titone. “If everyone of us just made one purchase at a local small business on Small Business Saturday®, what an impact we would have on small business owners in New Jersey who rely heavily on holiday sales.”

This year, the SBA is also encouraging shoppers to DineSmall after a day of shopping small.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Restaurant Association, the agency is encouraging shoppers to stop by for lunch or dinner after a day of holiday shopping. In fiscal year 2014, the SBA’s New Jersey district office supported 178 loans for $116 million to small eateries across the state.

To promote dining small, the group dropped by the Red Eye Café on the second leg of their tour and met with owner Anthony Brinton. Through a $50,000 loan from JPMorgan Chase Bank, backed by the SBA, Brinton was able to launch his highly popular gourmet café two years ago.

“The SBA offered me assistance at a time when lending was really tight,” said Brinton. “Its loan guaranty program made the difference with the lenders allowing me to start my business. That assistance also allowed me to create jobs in the community where my family and I both live and work and has helped me to be able to give back locally.”

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