The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Columbus District is encouraging neighbors across central and southern Ohio to shop small as the holiday season kicks off this Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.
 
This is the 11th anniversary of Small Business Saturday®, which the SBA has proudly been a national co-sponsor of for the last 10 years, according to SBA Columbus District Director Everett M. Woodel, Jr., who oversees all the federal agency’s operations in central and southern Ohio.
 
“Small businesses from rural and urban Ohio need our support now, more than ever. Ohioans can think big by shopping small and do their part to help the backbone of the American economy navigate, retool, and pivot in response to the disruption caused by COVID-19,” Woodel said. “The holidays might look a little different for 2020, but we can still share joy and a sense of community by shopping small and supporting our favorite small businesses, and their employees, all holiday season.”
 
By patronizing independently owned businesses on Small Business Saturday – between Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to make a lasting positive impact in their community.

Started by American Express in 2010, Small Business Saturday has continued to provide small business owners with a big economic boost during the holiday shopping season. Last year, Woodel recounted that 110 million consumers shopped small and spent a total of $20 billion in local shops and restaurants across the country.
 
This year, the landscape is different because of the pandemic and disruption it has caused. In fact, these businesses, many family-owned, were already fighting for survival against malls, big box stores and online retailers. E-commerce, contactless shopping, and curbside pickup remain preferences of 73 percent of people surveyed by Deloitte in its annual holiday season economic forecast.

Additionally, the survey notes most shoppers, 51 percent, feel anxious about shopping physically in a store. And, in their adaptive spirit, many entrepreneurs have adjusted to serve customers safely with mask requirements, updated online ordering and more, with the help of SBA resources.
 
“While state- and locally-instituted temporary closures and capacity restrictions, as well as a change in product and service demand have led to unprecedented challenges for small business owners, the ‘Shop Small’ movement continues,” said SBA Great Lakes Regional Administrator Rob Scott. “By shopping small and supporting your favorite small businesses — in store with appropriate precautions as well as online — shoppers will be making significant contributions to overcome the economic hardships brought on by this pandemic and positively impact their communities.
 
“In Ohio, small business owners have accounted for a combination of 231,769 Economic Injury Disaster Loans and Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling $22,665,432,141. This economic relief has benefitted them, but it is also a reminder that local small business owners still are navigating the effects of the pandemic and continue to need our help.”
 
Supporting Woodel, Scott added that “during this time of uncertainty, Ohioans can get out in person or shop small virtually. Even an old-fashioned phone call to a local merchant works. Countless independently owned retailers and restaurants throughout central and southern Ohio are counting on us this Small Business Saturday®. I encourage supporters to share their Small Business Saturday experience with the SBA by tagging the local office on Twitter at @SBA_Columbus and using #ShopSmall.”
 
Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration has been a formal cosponsor of Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express in 2010. Small Business Saturday is a way for consumers to make an impact in their community by supporting independently owned businesses during the holiday season. Small businesses help to spur economic growth in communities across our country and add vibrance and strength to our nation. For additional information on Small Business Saturday, visit www.sba.gov/saturday.

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start and grow their businesses. It delivers services to people through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit www.sba.gov.