The Tower District. Fig Garden Village. Fulton Mall. Old Town Clovis.
Across Fresno and around the San Joaquin Valley are unique shopping areas like these filled with locally owned small businesses, stores, and restaurants that add character to our neighborhoods. Our hometown entrepreneurs provide consumers with places to get a great meal, find the perfect gift, or buy a uniquely local item that can’t be purchased anywhere else.
Small businesses are big supporters of the San Joaquin Valley communities we all live and work in — sponsoring youth sports teams, generously donating to fundraisers and contributing to this region in ways that make it a better place for everyone. Small businesses are also a big part of the local economy. Nationally, they create two out of every three net new jobs, and they provide goods and services to their communities every day of the year.
The San Joaquin Valley’s homegrown companies are critical to the region’s economic success, and on Small Business Saturday, we have a chance to give back to them.
Started in 2010, Small Business Saturday is celebrated the Saturday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 24th this year). Sandwiched in between the discounts offered by national chains on Black Friday and the online bargains available on Cyber Monday, it’s an opportunity to support local business owners.
This one day a year focused on local busnesses has a big impact — in 2017, 108 million consumers spent nearly $12 billion across the country on Small Business Saturday. Even better: those dollars remained in the community. According to the American Express Small Business Economic Impact Study, an average of two-thirds of every dollar ($0.67) spent at small businesses stays local, and creates an additional 50 cents in local business activity as a result of employee spending, and companies purchasing local goods and services.
I encourage you to join me and more than 100 million other American consumers in supporting our hometown business owners this year on Small Business Saturday. Most of us eat, shop, and buy from the same places over and over, usually those near where we live or work. Small Business Saturday is a reason to travel outside your comfort zone — and away from home — to discover someplace new while still keeping your dollars local.
You don’t have to do anything big — visit a locally owned coffee store for a pastry and your favorite morning drink. Buy Christmas gifts from a local shop. Have lunch or dinner at one of the family owned restaurants that are staples in communities all over the Valley. If you prefer to buy online, check out local companies that sell on social media or from their webpages. You can also support Small Business Saturday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (#ShopSmall).
As we all wrap up November, Small Business Saturday is a great way to get ready for December, and prepare for the holidays. It’s an opportunity to celebrate locally owned companies who create jobs, stimulate this region’s economy, and give back so much to our communities. And it’s a chance to support the homegrown businesses that make our San Joaquin Valley such an incredible place to live, work, eat, and shop — every day of the year.
Dawn Golik is director of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Fresno District Office, serving 15 counties in the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast. For more information about the SBA, visit www.sba.gov.