Small Business Saturday (What Is It and Why Is It Important?)

Quick question: how much do you know about the shopping holiday known as Small Business Saturday?

If you’re like most people, you only know the basics. For example, Small Business Saturday comes right after Black Friday. You also know it’s related to the small business industry, but you may be unsure how exactly.

Well, we’re here to tell you everything you need to know!

For starters, this is a new holiday, so there’s not much tradition behind it. And unlike most shopping holidays, it has a very clear purpose.

We’re diving into how this holiday came to be, why it’s important, and how to prepare for it!

Small Business Saturday 2023

What Is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is a one-day shopping event that takes place in November. In 2023, the event will land on November 25.

The holiday was originally created by American Express in 2010. Its purpose was to help the economy recover from the Great Recession. The best way to do that was to encourage people to support their local businesses.

In 2011, the U.S. Senate passed an official resolution in support of the event. Since then, the event has continued to grow. In the decade since its creation, it reached nationwide support, with all 50 states taking part in it.

These days, the event also has the support of the SBA and Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP). Both organizations use the event to spread the word about the various ways to support local small businesses.

One reason Small Business Saturday got so big is that it falls between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. This is the busiest period of the year, and many consumers are already shopping online to prepare for the holidays.

Who Takes Part in Small Business Saturday?

As the name implies, Small Business Saturday is about helping small businesses. The big question is: what constitutes a small business?

The simplest way to define a small business is to follow the SBA’s definition. It says that a small business is any privately-owned business with 500 or fewer employees. That includes sole proprietorships, LLCs, and more.

This definition of a small business includes both brick-and-mortar stores and online businesses. Businesses that take part in the event can be retail stores, grocery stores, restaurants, salons, and so on.

Not sure which stores in your area qualify as small businesses? Take a look at Shop Small, American Express’s online search tool. Keep in mind that only businesses that accept American Express will show up in search. (Hint: 99% of the shops and restaurants at The Crossroads Carmel are considered small businesses.)


Why Support Small Businesses?

Now that you have an understanding of what the holiday is and how it started, let’s talk about why you would want to support your local small businesses?

To begin with, supporting small businesses isn’t only about helping the owners. It’s also about supporting your local community. Studies show that $0.67 of every dollar you spend at small retailers stays in your community.

How does this work? Simple: local businesses tend to use local vendors, so most of your money will go to them. Most business owners also live where they work, so their wages will go to other local businesses.

Of course, local sales are only a small part of retail sales that happen over the year. That said, your spending still makes an impact. On last year’s Small Business Saturday, consumers spent a record $23.3 billion.

Beyond helping the community, supporting small businesses can help you as well. Since these businesses need local support, they’ll treasure those relationships. As a result, you can expect to get special customer service.


How to Support Small Businesses

Want to support your local small businesses on Small Business Saturday? If so, here are some tips that will help you “shop small”.


Holiday events, especially those close to Black Friday, can inspire impulse buying. It’s hard to say “I’ll wait” when big-ticket items only go on major sale once a year.

This year, plan to make your big shopping day Small Business Saturday. Many small businesses will honor or have even better sales on Saturday. Why not take your family’s wishlist to your local small businesses?



On the day of the holiday, some businesses will host events to attract shoppers of all ages. If you have kids, this can be a great opportunity to create some memories while investing your money into the local community.

Not sure which local events will be available? Check out our upcoming events to see what we have planned at The Crossroads. Your local newspaper will also have some event information as the date draws near.


As Small Business Saturday approaches, many businesses will be using social media to let their customers know about upcoming sales and special promotions. Join the party by sharing the posts from your favorite businesses. Alternatively, invite your followers to shop small this year.

On the day of the event, do your best to keep the conversation going. Check in with participating businesses and share pictures of any special events. Don’t forget to use hashtags like #shopsmall or #smallbusinesssaturday.


As helpful as Small Business Saturday is, it’s still only a one-time event. Even if you want to support small businesses, you’re limited in what you can do. The solution: commit to shopping small for the other 364 days in the year.

Every little bit helps! Strengthening your local economy takes more effort than you can offer in just one day. If you care about your community, the best thing you can do is become a regular.


Hopefully, you now know why Small Business Saturday is such a big event. Small businesses are a key part of our economy, and supporting them is never a bad idea – especially in these trying times.

Are you ready to start prepping for this Small Business Saturday? Check out the complete map of The Crossroads Carmel here.