Small Business

SBA: Shop Small, Dine Small on Small Business Saturday

As small merchants and restaurateurs gear up for Small Business Saturday on November 26, U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet wants to make sure people around New Jersey get out and support small businesses by shopping and dining this weekend in their local neighborhoods.

“What typically is one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year can make or break a small business,” said LeDet.  “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, 95 million people went out to shop small and spent a total of $16.2 billion in local shops and restaurants, a 14 percent increase over 2014.

“This year’s sales figures are projected to hit $17.8 billion, a 10 percent increase over last year’s total,” said LeDet.  “Small Business Saturday is an opportunity for us all to get behind neighborhood businesses that are the foundation of many thriving New Jersey communities. These businesses hire locals, stabilize our downtowns, make their communities destination spots, and contribute to growing our local economy.”

According to LeDet, there are a little over 20,400 retailers in New Jersey that employ between

1-19 employees.  There are also another 48,442 retailers scattered throughout the state that are considered sole proprietors and have no employees.  Small business retailers employ 154,032 workers throughout the state, which accounts for 34.6 percent of the 445,176 people employed by all retailers.  “So when someone spends $100 at a local small business, $68 stays in our local economy,” added LeDet.  “If that same $100 is spent at a large big box business, only $43 stays in our local economy.”

In addition to retailers, LeDet noted that there are nearly 18,000 eating and drinking establishments in New Jersey.  They employ 330,700 workers; make up 9 percent of employment in the state: and account for $16 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,”

“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,” said LeDet.  “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.”

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