Small Business Saturday 2023: Supporting Local Businesses Nationwide

Small Business Saturday 2023: Supporting Local Businesses Nationwide

Nov 25, 2023

Small Business Saturday, nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, is a day dedicated to celebrating and supporting the heartbeat of our communities—the local businesses that bring unique charm and character to our neighborhoods. This annual event, which falls on the first Saturday after Thanksgiving, encourages shoppers to shift their focus from large retail chains to the small, independently-owned businesses that make a significant impact on the local economy. Over the past 14 years, Small Business Saturday has generated over $120 billion for small businesses. And Amex plans to drive that same amount from 2021 - 2025!

History of Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday was created by American Express in 2010 and officially co-sponsored by the SBA in 2011 in response to the global financial crisis of 2008. The goal was to spotlight small businesses and highlight their contributions to the economy. After the crisis, many small businesses struggled to stay afloat as consumers were drawn towards larger corporations offering lower prices. Recognizing the need to support these small enterprises, American Express launched Small Business Saturday as a solution. Since its inception, the event has gained significant traction and has become a beloved tradition for many communities.

And the numbers speak for themselves.

The first Small Business Saturday took place on Saturday, November 27, 2010. An estimated 200,000 U.S. customers shopped at independent stores as part of the inaugural event. Customers who used their AmEx cards that weekend received $25 back on shopping and dining at independent merchants and restaurants if they registered ahead of time with the card issuer.

Preliminary data on small retailers that accept American Express Cards showed that they saw an average 27 percent increase in sales on those cards this year compared to the Saturday after Thanksgiving in 2009.

Two years later, in 2012 an estimated $5.5 billion was spent by millions of consumers. Just two years after that, in 2014, that number jumped up to $14.3 billion spent by more than 95 million consumers! Last year, in 2021, consumer spending on SBS reached an all-time high of $23.3 billion! Last year it dipped a bit to $17.9 billion, still wildly impressive!

There are over 32 million small businesses across the country, no shortage of local shops, restaurants, bodegas, bookstores, and more to support this year!

Via American Express

The Impact of Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday has a profound impact on local economies. By choosing to shop at small businesses, consumers help generate revenue that stays within the community. This, in turn, supports job creation, stimulates economic growth, and enhances the overall vitality of the neighborhood. According to a study conducted by American Express, for every dollar spent at a small business, approximately 67 cents stays in the local community. This multiplier effect has far-reaching benefits, as it not only supports the businesses themselves but also strengthens the local infrastructure, schools, and public services.

Small businesses are so often the backbone of a community, offering great products, personalized customer service, and a sense of local identity. When we support these businesses, we are not only investing in the products or services they provide but also in the character and vibrancy of our neighborhoods. Small Business Saturday provides an opportunity for these businesses to showcase their offerings and connect with customers on a personal level. It allows us to discover hidden gems, explore new experiences, and build relationships with the people behind the businesses.

Why Small Business Saturday Matters

Supporting small businesses goes beyond just making purchases. It is about fostering a sense of community, preserving local culture, and investing in the future of our neighborhoods. When we choose to shop at small businesses, we are making a conscious decision to prioritize quality, diversity, and sustainability.

Moreover, small businesses often face challenges in competing with larger corporations. They may struggle to match the advertising budgets, bulk purchasing power, or online presence of their larger counterparts. Small Business Saturday serves as a platform to hopefully level the playing field and provide these businesses with much-needed visibility and support.


Small Business Saturday is more than just a shopping day; it's an opportunity to celebrate the unique qualities that make our communities special. By choosing to shop at local businesses, we contribute to the vibrancy of our neighborhoods and invest in the success of our friends and neighbors. So, this Small Business Saturday, let's come together to celebrate, support, and uplift the small businesses that make our communities thrive.