The History of Small Business Saturday

Nov 1, 2022 2 min read

History of Small Business Saturday

Participation in Small Business Saturday continues to grow year after year. In fact, American Express reported consumers have spent an estimated total of more than $120 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday over the past 10 years.

Learn what Small Business Saturday is, why it was started and how it helps your community.

What Is Small Business Saturday?

Small Business Saturday is an annual holiday that encourages holiday shoppers to shop at local businesses. Small Business Saturday takes place on the Saturday following Thanksgiving.

How Was Small Business Saturday Started?

Small Business Saturday started as a campaign launched by American Express on Nov. 27, 2010, to help small businesses gain exposure and to inspire consumers to shop within their own communities during the holiday season. The day became official in 2011 when Washington State mayors, governors, senators and President Obama shared their support for Small Business Saturday. 

In 2012, American Express amplified the campaign by helping small business owners promote their businesses. The credit card company offered small business owners free personalized ads to spread across the web. That year, an estimated $5.5 billion was spent at small businesses nationwide. By 2013, communities began celebrating the holiday by pledging support to their local businesses and organizations. 

In 2015, the number of people who shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday increased by 8% from 2014 to more than 95 million people and spending reached $16.2 billion. Consumer spending has continued to grow with online shopping becoming a more common way for small businesses to sell their products. Online spending grew 13% between 2019 and 2020 and continued to grow at a slower rate of 2% in 2021.

Today, most Americans know what Small Business Saturday is and, of those who participate, nearly all recognize how important the holiday is to their communities.

 Why Shopping Local Matters

Why Should You Shop Small?

For small business owners, their business is not just a business — it’s an extension of who they are. Supporting the local businesses within your community not only keeps those businesses alive, but keeps the communities they serve thriving, as well. 

This year, shop at your local bakery, restaurant, coffee shop, boutique or neighborhood store rather than shopping at a national chain. Shopping local matters because it affects the entire community. When more money is spent at local stores, more money stays within the community. For every dollar spent at a small business, 67 cents stays within your local economy. In addition to helping schools and other organizations through taxes, small businesses are also often the organizations that support local sports teams, charities and events. Plus, local retailers are more likely to hire locally than retail chains.

Support for Your Small Business

There are many challenges as a small business owner, but small business insurance should not be one of them. At Farm Bureau Financial Services we understand how hard you have worked to build your small business, which is why we want to help you protect it. Learn how our small business insurance and commercial insurance can help ensure the success and safety of your company. 

Want to learn more?

Contact a local FBFS agent or advisor for answers personalized to you.