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Iowans Encouraged to Shop Main Street on Small Business Saturday

Economists expect Americans to spend more than $1.1 trillion this holiday season, up 5 percent from last year. (
Economists expect Americans to spend more than $1.1 trillion this holiday season, up 5 percent from last year. (
November 23, 2018

DES MOINES, Iowa – It’s Black Friday, but if you'd prefer to spend money on your community's Main Street, wait a day and shop on Small Business Saturday.

The shopping event was initiated in 2010, just about the time chain stores, e-commerce giants such as Amazon and big-box brands seemed poised to overwhelm local merchants competing against them.

Anthony Malandra, senior media manager for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), reminds holiday shoppers that local merchants also employ local people.

"Small Business Saturday is important because it serves as a great reminder that America's economic engine is on Main Street,” Malandra points out. “Small businesses make up the vast majority of all businesses."

Iowa has almost 244,000 independent businesses run by everyday citizens.

In 2017, Iowans most often visited a restaurant, bar or pub on Small Business Saturday, while their neighbors in Minnesota were more likely to visit a pet store, according to a NFIB survey.

It's estimated $8 billion has been spent on Small Business Saturday in the U.S. since its creation eight years ago.

Malandra says the day is crucial for many small retailers around Iowa, because for many of them, it's is the most profitable day of the year.

"Small businesses always have a little bit more difficult time in making ends meet, so if we can sort of leverage some of the Black Friday money onto Main Street, the communities in which these small businesses are based, benefit," he states.

According to data from the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for 48 percent of the nation's employment.

Roz Brown, Public News Service - IA