Written by UF Active Learning Program Interns:
Sierra Mulholland & Ydnie Augustin
Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support local small businesses within your community. Small businesses are generally characterized as privately owned with fewer employees and annual revenue than a corporation or regular-sized business. During the holiday shopping season, it is essential to remember the backbone of the American economy: small businesses bring people together, keep money local, and directly benefit the economics of their communities. The Sarasota County Green Business Partnership recognizes the importance of small businesses by promoting this year’s Small Business Saturday, which falls the day after Black Friday on November 25th, 2023.
Here are some reasons you should shop small this holiday season:
- Unlike large chain businesses, which often receive tax breaks from local governments, the tax revenue from local businesses is directly reinvested in local communities. By spending money at a small business, your community will reap the benefits.
- Small businesses create more jobs. According to the Small Business Administration, as of 2019, the United States had 30.7 million small businesses that collectively employed 47.3% of the private workforce. This number will continue to grow with your support.
- Small businesses support local charities. Small businesses donate, on average, 250% more than large businesses to community non-profits, according to the Seattle Good Business Network.
- Small businesses have a lower carbon footprint. They make more local purchases, which require less transportation, directly reducing pollution levels. Shopping locally also reduces community traffic, habitat loss, and resource depletion.
Many participating businesses in Sarasota’s Green Business Partnership are small businesses. Check out the Sarasota County Green Business Partnership list of participating businesses to learn about your local small businesses.
- Economic Vitality: When you choose to patronize local businesses, you are directly contributing to the financial well-being of your neighbors, friends, and fellow community members. The money spent locally circulates within the community, creating a multiplier effect. This leads to increased economic vitality by creating jobs, improving local income levels, and enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.
- Diverse Product and Service Offerings: Local businesses often provide unique and personalized products or services that reflect the community’s culture and preferences. This diversity adds to the charm and distinctiveness of a locality, offering customers a broader range of choices.
- Community Identity: Local businesses are an integral part of a community’s identity. They contribute to the character and personality of a place, making it more attractive to residents and visitors alike. Supporting local businesses helps preserve the unique nature of a community.
- Reduced Environmental Impact: Shopping locally reduces the need for long-distance transportation of goods, which can lead to a reduction in the carbon footprint and environmental impact associated with shipping. It promotes a more sustainable and eco-friendly way of conducting commerce.