Supporting local businesses: The best gift to give this year

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Shop Local Small Businesses on Small Business Saturday, November 28 and Throughout the Year
Congratulations! You have made it to November. You are in the home stretch of 2020. Some of you can not wait for this year to end. From social distancing, new cleaning practices and holiday alterations, COVID-19 has changed almost everything we normally do. Something that has not changed however, is University of Tennessee Extension’s support for small local businesses.
With the pandemic affecting every part of our lives, how will Black Friday and Small Business Saturday look this year? It is a big question many have been asking.
“Black Friday and Small Business Saturday will still happen,” answers Ann Berry, UT Extension professor and financial expert. “Sales events have begun early this year and more people are predicted to shop online, making Cyber Monday even more popular.”
Local businesses are planning for a safe shopping experience for their customers, either in person or through curbside and contactless pickup. Some local businesses are even encouraging customers to shop online for their safety.
After sampling more than one million small businesses, researchers recently found that consumer spending at small businesses reduced 35 percent in the midst of COVID-19, compared to previous years. Berry adds, “Some small businesses are even predicted to go out of business by the end of 2020.”
COVID-19 has had a significant impact on businesses as a whole and many businesses are simply trying to stay afloat. Showing support for these businesses is one of the best gifts anyone could give this year.
“Whether we’re shopping online, through curbside pickup or safely in-person, I think it is more important than ever for us to shop local this year for both your holiday shopping and throughout the year,” says Berry.
Small Business Saturday falls on November 28 this year. This event was created by American Express in 2009-2010 in the middle of the recession. American Express wanted to encourage consumers to bring more of their dollars to small businesses in their local communities. With this annual event, small businesses have collected revenue of $103 billion over the past ten years. To join the conversation locally and nationally and encourage others to shop small as well, use these social media hashtags: #ShopSmall, #SmallBizSat, #AmexSBSChampion.
For more financial resources, contact the family and consumer sciences agent at your local county Extension office by calling 989-2013.