Small Business Saturday takes place on Nov. 27, the Saturday following Thanksgiving and Black Friday, as part of a local and national effort to encourage people to patronize small businesses.
American Express initially conceived of Small Business Saturday to help small businesses in 2010, and the following year the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to support and increase awareness of locally owned small businesses.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are more than 4.2 million small businesses in California, making up 99.8% of all California businesses. Additionally, small businesses employ 7.3 million employees, a total of 48.2% of all California employees. The SBA reported retail and restaurant businesses generated nearly $20 billion in 2020.
Ivan Volschenk, president of the Santa Clarita Valley Chamber of Commerce, said Small Business Saturday celebrates small businesses and encourages people to shop locally for the holiday season.
“It’s a relatively new holiday, obviously, coming between Black Friday and Cyber Monday … So it’s important to support the local businesses that would be offering good deals,” Volschenk said.
Small businesses are the backbone of the economy locally and nationally, so sales can be boosted by the special day, according to Volschenk.
American Express, in addition to creating the day to support small businesses, provides a map of small businesses participating in Small Business Saturday.
Additionally, American Express offers opportunities for businesses to register their listing and participate with additional free resources from the “shop small” website. The one stipulation is a business must accept American Express credit cards and be in a specific industry, but there’s no charge to list a business on the map.
“You can create custom fliers that have social media assets and you can download from their website to encourage people to use those and not having [businesses] spend money on their own marketing people to do that,” Volschenk said about the American Express “shop small” site.
Volschenk said the SCV Chamber of Commerce has participated in the past three years of Small Business Saturday to advocate for local small businesses.
“We’ve been a champion for the cause and trying to rally small businesses to participate, as well as create this [event] for everybody to support local businesses,” Volschenk said.
Rocket Fizz, a local small business located at 24357 Main St. specializing in soda, candy and novelty items, has seen an increase in business this year after a slowdown related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Owner and operator Greg Stoddard encourages people to shop at his small business for the experience and unique selection of candy, gag gifts and his large soda varieties.
“Last year sucked obviously, because everything shut down. This year has been the best year I’ve had in five years,” Stoddard said.
Stoddard said he likes the idea of Small Business Saturday because shopping local is essential for the local economy to keep money circulating in town.
“It’s important as it keeps the money recycling in the local economy. It doesn’t send it off somewhere else,” Stoddard said. “They come in, pay me money, I pay employees who live in town here and they buy stuff in town.”
Boho Records and Rags, located at 24827 Railroad Avenue, is owned and operated by Steven Beeby and began three years ago with a positive response from the community.
“We took a gamble opening this place, because we didn’t know how the community would react and if they’re still interested in buying records or not,” Beeby said. “Luckily enough there’s been a very positive response.”
An enthusiastic Beeby detailed his inventory of unique and original pressings of vinyl records that are collectors’ items, in multiple musical genres
Supporting all businesses, not just small, is important to Beeby because everyone’s trying to survive. Even the local large businesses hire many people who live in the community and shop local small businesses.
“It’s important for small businesses, but also, everyone rather than just going out and buying everything online … it’s important to try and support anyone that is involved in the community,” Beeby said.