Small Business Saturday on November 28 is this event’s most important in its 11-year history because of what the pandemic has done to small businesses and their workers. Now with an upsurge in coronavirus cases and potential stiff business restrictions imposed by California governments, it is more important than ever to support small businesses during this holiday shopping season. 

It is no exaggeration to say that shopping at small businesses this season could mean an open or closed sign on the door of many neighborhood businesses as the new year begins. 

In an American Express Shop Small Impact study it was revealed that 75% of small business owners need holiday spending to return to normal so they can stay in business in 2021. Nearly half said they need better than average spending to survive. 

Small business is not only the backbone of the state and national economy—that is pretty well agreed upon by economists—but in this time of extraordinary health and economic crisis small business is the measuring stick for job and business recovery. Big business has the resources to weather the Covid-19 storm. But if small business shows signs of life, it will be like new blades of grass poking through the turf telling us brighter, warmer days are ahead. 

The biggest incentive to shop small is that you are not only helping to keep small businesses operating, you are making your community stronger. When you purchase a product or service at a local store or restaurant, you are helping to pay the salary of a neighbor, a friend or a family member. You are helping to keep the people in your town or city employed so that they can support their families. Most importantly, you are demonstrating the value that you place on the small-business people who, by providing you and your community with incomparable products and services, work hard to keep your trust each and every day. 

Instead of dealing with temporary workers who don’t know the merchandise, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing directly with the mom-and-pop owner and staff who care very much about making you happy. They want you to come back time and again. 

You’ve always appreciated that small business or near-by restaurant being there—now that neighborhood business needs you. 

The economic stimulus package that helped keep small businesses alive during the initial advance of the virus is gone. A new stimulus package may or may not be available as the virus shows its sharp teeth again over the winter months. That’s why small business needs customer support to carry on until that day we are all praying for when there is a return to normalcy. 

Small businesses follow health care protocols for social distancing, mask requirements, and clean up. But there are other ways to patronize a local business that doesn’t require an in-person visit. Consider shopping online at a small business’ website, order a gift card for future use, or have products or food delivered by delivery app services. 

Covid-19 has made the positive life enjoyed by your neighbors in small businesses a very difficult challenge. Let’s join together this holiday season by helping to uplift our communities’ spirits by keeping those core neighborhood small businesses operating. 

It all starts this Saturday. Be there!