Small Business Saturday falls on Nov. 28 this year and we are excited to bring this wonderful event straight to your living room! For years, Small Business Saturday has been the biggest day for customers to make a point to “shop small,” taking part in in-store promotions, hot chocolate and pictures with Santa. This year is no different, and small businesses need your support this year more than ever.

Nearly $19.6 billion dollars was spent in small businesses on Small Business Saturday in 2019, with $3 billion in total spending on e-commerce.

There is no doubt that shopping small creates a big impact in our communities. For every $100 spent with a small business, about $70 stays in the community. By contrast, buying from a big-box store means just $40 stays in your local community.

Akita Marcoulier

This pandemic is different than past disasters. Our fires and floods of 2012 and 2013 were devastating, and some may say we have just begun to recover from the lasting effects on our economy. The uncertainty of the pandemic, changing regulations, safety standards, cold weather preparations and more have pressured small businesses to make life-altering decisions: Do we stay open or do we close? Such decisions are more than just a yes or no. Small business ownership is a lifestyle which comes with true passion and a dream. 

A recent Pulse survey of 699 small businesses, conducted by El Paso County Economic Development Department, found that 48.35 percent of small business were struggling, 44.06 percent were getting by, 6.29 percent were failing and 1.29 percent were thriving. For most businesses struggling or getting by, grants, loans and major changes in business models have been the No. 1 driver for business resilience.

But this is not all doom and gloom. Our small business community has shown resilience, innovation and a strong sense of community. Creating socially impactful stories, Facebook groups, and support for one another, this business community continues to evolve. Businesses that have pivoted to provide products and services through e-commerce, delivery or curbside pickup, or direct-to-consumer sales rather than wholesale, have seen growth in their customer base — not only locally but nationally and internationally. Even with a major business model change, “getting by” isn’t enough. Our business community needs your help! 

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Jonathan Liebert

It’s time we all make a conscious decision to buy local starting right now, through the holidays and for years to come. With changing just one purchase to small business, you are putting money into our community. The small business owner you support might be a neighbor, a friend, or family member. Not only are you supporting small business, but you are supporting our community and the entire state of Colorado, because 99.9 percent of all business is small business.  

For up-to-date information on local “shop small” opportunities, visit facebook.com/smallbizsatpikespeak and check out the Shop Small Saturday Media Tour for customers, media and small businesses on Saturday, Nov. 21. Find out where you can shop locally and safely! Register at pikespeaksbdc.org

Aikta Marcoulier is executive director at the Pikes Peak Small Business Development Center and Jonathan Liebert is CEO and president of Better Business Bureau of Southern Colorado.