Black Friday is the king of the retail holiday season, but the following day is proving to be just as compelling. This past Saturday, a record 95 million people shopped at a small business in the United States, according to a survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express.
Those 95 million shoppers are an 8 percent increase from the number of consumers from last year. This past Saturday was not some sort of random pilgrimage to everyone’s favorite mom and pop shops, just the forgotten holiday of Small Business Saturday (SBS). The holiday was created by American Express in 2010 to get people to spend more money at small businesses. Those 95 million shoppers spent $16.2 billion, up 14 percent from the $14.3 billion that was spent last year.
As impressive as these numbers are, Small Business Saturday is easily defeated by another shopping holiday. Black Friday attracted 151 million shoppers, according to a survey conducted by the National Retail Federation. But, Small Business Saturday had a special endorser that Black Friday didn’t: the Obama family. President Barack Obama and his daughters Malia and Sasha visited Upshur Street Books and Pleasant Pops cafe in Washington. The family purchased nine books at Upshur, but the President claimed his “highlight of my Small Business Saturday” was buying three ice pops from thePleasant Pops cafe for $9.
Small Business Saturday has helped numerous continue to see revenue growth. Since 2010, SBS’ first year, small business owners have reported at least a 245 percent increase in revenue compared to the previous year. Small businesses have also helped lower the unemployment rate. This past January, small businesses added 81 percent of new private-sector jobs. With major corporations such as AT&T, Eventbrite, Square, Sam’s Club, and dozens others helping to promote Small Business Saturday this year, the little holiday that could … actually did.