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Small Business Saturday highlights year-round impact

As the voice for our nation’s entrepreneurs, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrates small businesses on a daily basis. When our small businesses do well, our communities do too. Therefore, as part of our annual tradition, I encourage you to join millions of Americans and “shop small” on Small Business Saturday®, Nov. 29, to complete your holiday shopping (or to start your holiday shopping, as the case may be).

On the heels of Black Friday, shopping small is a concrete way to support small businesses – the same businesses that generate two of every three net new jobs, and deliver essential goods and services to America’s communities 365 days a year. Last year, Small Business Saturday® had a major impact. Consumers who were aware of it spent an estimated $5.7 billion with independent merchants.

You can do your part with these five simple steps:

• If you’re a business owner, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday season by checking out helpful advice at http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinesssaturday.

• If you’re a customer, commit to making at least one purchase from a locally-owned small business retailer. Get to know the owner, and make your gift more meaningful by sharing their story as part of what you give your loved ones.

• Enjoy the experience. Travel outside your comfort zone — and away from your computer screen — to discover an out-of-the ordinary shopping district with some trendy local stores. 

• Take part in Small Business Saturday® on social media, using the hashtag #SmallBizSat to amplify your support. If you find a great small business retailer with unique products, Tweet or Facebook your find so others can enjoy it too.

• When you open your gifts, start a conversation about which one came from the most distinctive and creative sellers. This can make for great debate over egg nog or your holiday drink of choice. 

I know I’ll be shopping small with my friends and family on Saturday, Nov. 29. I encourage you to do the same – and remember that “shop small” refers to whom you buy from, and not how much you buy.

(Editor’s note: Matt Varilek, based in Denver, oversees the agency’s programs and services in Colorado, Montana, Utah, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming.)

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