Twenty years ago, Buy Nothing Day was introduced as an anti-consumerist response to Black Friday. But rather than buy nothing, supporters of Small Business Saturday argue that positive consumption can benefit the nation. Now shoppers across the country (those who weren’t taken down in the chaos of yesterday’s Black Friday sales) are heading to their locally owned businesses in honor of Small Business Saturday today.
Over 30 senators (from California’s Barbara Boxer to South Dakota’s John Thune) have signed onto Small Business Saturday’s pledge as a way to support small business owners and small economies. The shopping event also has the support of President Obama, who wrote in a statement this week, “Through events such as Small Business Saturday, we keep our local economies strong and help maintain an American economy that can compete and win in the 21st century.”
This very local holiday is sponsored by very global American Express, with a $25 bonus for card holders who make purchases at small businesses. According to Boston.com, the promotion last year was worth a 28 percent boost in sales. That money appears to stays local longer. Business Week reports that only about $13 of every $100 spent at a big box store stays in that town, compared to $45 for every $100 spent at a locally owned store.