While the day after Thanksgiving may be the unofficial kickoff to the holiday shopping season, Small Business Saturday is gaining popularity and momentum in Tennessee and around the U.S.
Small Business Saturday began in 2010 as an American Express initiative, and has grown into a movement that millions of individuals, businesses and communities have embraced nationwide — and continue to support. On Saturday, hundreds of Tennessee businesses will open their doors, as customers are encouraged to “Shop Small.”
“Small businesses are the lifeblood of Tennessee’s economy, showcasing our state’s vibrant entrepreneurial spirit while providing valuable jobs in our communities,” Economic and Community Development Commissioner Bill Hagerty said. “I strongly encourage Tennesseans to support small businesses not only on Small Business Saturday, but throughout the year.”
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, 97 percent of small businesses in Tennessee employ fewer than 500 employees, which accounts for 44.9 percent of the private-sector labor force. Top industries for Tennessee small business employment include retail trade, health care and social assistance, and other services.
In 2012, Small Business Saturday turned out more than 103 million patrons across the country. According to a survey released by American Express, consumers spent an estimated $5.5 billion at locally owned stores and restaurants.
For more information on Small Business Saturday, visit americanexpress.com/us/small-business/Shop-Small/.