Photos by Matt Choquette
Shop Small Saturday, the annual day of shopping to support local businesses, has been deemed a success, and it’s not hard to see why. “Everywhere we went, there was a line,” one shopper told Sapulpa Times on Saturday afternoon.
While normally, lines might be a detriment to an enjoyable shopping experience, Saturday they were a sign of a growing interest in supporting local businesses during the holiday season.
“It’s growing more and more,” said Cindy Lawrence, Director of Sapulpa Main Street. “Every year, more and more people are becoming committed to shopping in every store downtown. Families are making it their own tradition.”
Making a tradition out of an idea that’s only really been around for about ten years? That sounds like a success.
The Story of Shop Small
In 2010—in the midst of a recession—the first widely-recognized Shop Small event happens, largely spearheaded by American Express.
The first Small Business Saturday is a success. One year later, as the Shop Small Movement gains momentum, local officials across the nation take notice and move to promote the day.
In 2011, the Senate unanimously passes a resolution in support of the day, and officials in all 50 states participate. It even gets a shout-out from the president of the United States.
In 2013, more than 1,400 individuals and organizations sign up as Neighborhood Champions to rally and support their local communities with events and activities on Small Business Saturday — and that number continues to grow.
By 2018, there were more than 7,500 Neighborhood Champions across all 50 states. They’re not alone. Beginning in 2011, business associations, nonprofit trade groups, municipalities, and public officials started to unite, forming a Small Business Saturday Coalition to encourage everyone to Shop Small. And nearly 100 corporations lend their official support to the movement.
Consumers who make the time to stay locally-minded with their shopping, whether it’s taking a yoga class at their neighborhood spot or buying a gift from the local artist down the street, they’re shopping small and making a difference.
In fact, researchers say that for every dollar spent at a small business in the U.S., approximately 67 cents stays in the local community. So when you Shop Small on Small Business Saturday—and all year long—it can help add up to a big impact.
Over the years, Small Business Saturday spending has now reached a reported estimate of $103 billion since the day began in 2010 — that’s $103 billion over 9 days alone.