Situated between the long lines of Black Friday and the seemingly-minute-long online deals of Cyber Monday, is a holiday which glorifies the value of American small businesses: Small Business Saturday.

This national holiday, which was first celebrated in 2010, calls to attention the importance of shopping at the small businesses that serve as the backbone of the American economy and our local communities. Each year, Small Business Saturday draws crowds to main streets across the country with great deals on unique products and services, events that encourage shopping locally, and unique experiences that introduce you to commonly valued neighbors.

Small Business Saturday was trademarked by the American Express Corporation in 2010. The day was intended to celebrate small businesses and draw shoppers to these businesses in time for the start of the holiday shopping season.

The holiday quickly outgrew American Express, and has been adopted or recognized by local business organizations across the country, the Small Business Administration (SBA), and even Congress.The Senate first recognized the Saturday after Thanksgiving as Small Business Saturday in 2011. Since then, the Senate has passed this resolution annually to increase “awareness of the value of locally owned small businesses.”

In 2018, an estimated 108 million consumers shopped or dined at local businesses on Small Business Saturday, and 70% of U.S. consumers were aware of the holiday, according to a survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business and Amex. Additionally, nearly 48% of consumers who participated in Small Business Saturday reported that they visited a small business that they had previously had not been to on that day.

This year, some 83% of consumers say they plan to do at least some of their holiday shopping at a small independently owned retailer or restaurant either in person, or online. Nearly 6 in 10 consumers nationwide say they are aware of the shopping holiday, and among them, 80 percent plan to shop at independent retailers that day.

Today, small businesses recognize Small Business Saturday by participating in local community events, spreading the word about the holiday online and in their stores, and marketing exclusive deals to customers. Check out our list on page 15 of participating businesses offering sales, giveaways and drinks and snacks!