Small Business Saturday Goes Local

Small Business Saturday Generates Stronger Holiday Sales for Latino Shop Owners

Small Business Photo: Fotolia

Small Business Saturday offers a fitting end for National Entrepreneurship Month by raising the profiles of thousands of small businesses that drive the country’s economic engine. Created by American Express, the 2012 event marks the third year of taking a special day to focus consumer attention on the contributions of local merchants. Latino business owners and women and minority entrepreneurs often suffer sales slumps due to the annual emphasis on huge holiday sales promoted by corporations after Thanksgiving. Holiday revenue often proves critical for Hispanic business owners. This year, Small Business Saturday occurs on Saturday, November 24, 2012.

Participation and stronger senses of community make the annual event beneficial for Latino shop owners who often run neighborhood shops and show the kind of “can-do” small business spirit that helped to build the country. The Small Business Administration, American Express, SCORE, Google, Facebook and the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce encourage people to interact and shop at local merchant outlets this holiday season.

  • One out of every five small businesses in the United States have Hispanic owners.
  • Consumers can celebrate Small Business Saturday by taking part in social media platforms like Facebook to help promote the event.
  • Awareness of local businesses helps women, minorities and Latino business owners like Vicky Leyva, a Latino immigrant who built a savvy business after entering the country at age 11 to help her single mother and family.
  • The annual promotion encourages personal interaction with creative local shop owners, and more than 100 million Americans shopped at independent businesses last year during the Saturday event.
  • Local economies and governments benefit when consumers spend their money in local shops. According the to the American Independent Business Alliance, local shopping generates 3.7 times the favorable economic impact for localities than shopping at cookie-cutter chain stores.
  • The Latino Economic Development Corporation recommends embracing and promoting the event because Latino-owned businesses need the sales boost it generates during the holidays.

The immigrant experience often follows a rags-to-riches storyline. Many immigrants to America had tremendous motivations to succeed, and starting local businesses offered opportunities for determined men and women. Immigrants pay taxes, contribute to local economies, support their adopted country politically and militarily, consume products and help create jobs. Small Business Saturday acknowledges the key role small retail shops play in community and economic development.

Exposure to new goods, product and services fuels repeat business for Hispanic business owners. Holiday goodwill extends throughout the year, and people learn powerful lessons by shopping for goods and services at small local venues where they can develop personal relationships with accountable business owners. Google tools, such as the new local virtual tours application, offer shoppers sneak peaks of local stores in 360-degree detail. Google Street View could help plan more efficient shopping itineraries for consumers who have lost the knack of shopping locally. Small Business Saturday helps to empower small business owners, and more than one-fifth of these entrepreneurs come from Hispanic backgrounds.