‘Tis the season for shopping, and three of the U.S’s favorite shopping days—Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday—are just around the corner. This is one of NEC’s favorite times of year, and it’s at this time that we give thanks for our small and medium-sized dealers and customers.
NEC would not be the successful organization it is today without the help of small businesses—the remote workers, the startups, and the established retail shops, doctor’s offices, and all the people who sometimes get overlooked during this time of year.
You may think that, with a whole week devoted to celebrating small businesses in May, that small companies don’t need us to say how great they are and that we value what they bring to the economy. But they do need focus—a little attention and a polite “thank-you”—during this time of year.
So to say “thank you” to our small business customers, NEC wants to remind everyone about how valuable SMBs are to our communities.
What is Small Business Saturday?
We all know what Black Friday and Cyber Monday are—the big-box retailers’ opportunity to get us out (or online) to kick off the holiday season. And while these are important days for the U.S. economically speaking, one day that’s relatively new to our history, Small Business Saturday, may get overlooked by holiday shoppers.
In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help small businesses with their most pressing need—getting more customers. The day encourages people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part each year. In fact, an estimated 5.5 Billion dollars was spent on Small Business Saturday in 2012, and 1,450 “neighborhood champions” signed up to rally both local businesses and local shoppers in their towns in last year.
According to the National Retail Federation, SMBs make 20 to 40 percent of their yearly sales during the last two months of the calendar year.
The Economics of SMBs
With so many businesses depending on holiday sales to make or break the bank as it were, it becomes easier to understand why Small Business Saturday matters so much to so many.
The United States was built on the backs of small business entrepreneurs. And even in today’s economy, which is much more geared toward achieving “big business” status, small businesses remain a critical component of and major contributor to the strength of local economies. Even with large corporations making the bulk of the country’s money (which they could not do without their small business partners), the real driver behind the success of the economy is small business. Firms with fewer than 500 employees drive the economy by providing jobs for over half of the nation’s private workforce. The most recent figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration show that small businesses with fewer than 20 employees lead job creation, and have contributed to 63 percent of net new jobs created since 1993.
Small businesses comprise what share of the U.S. economy?
Small businesses make up:
- 99.7 percent of U.S. employer firms,
- 63 percent of net new private-sector jobs,
- 48.5 percent of private-sector employ¬ment,
- 42 percent of private-sector payroll,
- 46 percent of private-sector output,
- 37 percent of high-tech employment,
- 98 percent of firms exporting goods, and
- 33 percent of exporting value.
2014 Holiday Shopping Statistics
Supporting your local businesses should be of the utmost importance this holiday season. To show you just how important the holidays are to small businesses financially, here are some of Twitter’s Small Business Holiday Insights:
- On average, survey respondents said they planned to spend nearly $800
- 7 in 10 respondents said they will purchase gifts for everyone on their list, and a few for themselves
- 8 in 10 consumers say they want to support SMBs, particularly during the holidays
- Consumers only plan to spend $3 out of every $10 they have budgeted with SMB retailers and on SMB e-commerce websites
Helping Small Businesses Grow With Smart Communications
If what you’re shopping for happens to be a new communications solution, then NEC’s Smart Communications for SMBs might be what you are looking for. NEC’s Unified Communications solutions are designed to help businesses respond more quickly and efficiently to customer requests to drive loyalty and ultimately grow a small business into a big one. When you shop locally, you give money back to your own community—you help create more jobs, stimulate economic growth, and keep more people open for business.