Connecting Consumers with Small Businesses

By Sarah Olson

The opportunity to buy great gifts and support the community is nestled between Black Friday and Cyber Monday with a day known as Small Business Saturday. Unlike the other two days promoting big box retail and e-commerce, Small Business Saturday encourages holiday shoppers to support local businesses with their purchases. This day has its origin in 2010 when the small business sector was hurting from the recession. American Express launched Small Business Saturday hoping to bring more holiday shopping to the local businesses that make our communities strong. In 2011 the U.S. Senate passed a resolution to support Small Business Saturday and by 2012 it became a nationwide event.

In 2016, 112 million people came out to shop on Small Business Saturday generating an estimated sales of $15.4 billion dollars for small businesses. This day has been embraced by small business owners and shoppers, with its impact being felt on every corner. You can make Shopping Small part of your holiday tradition and join a nationwide movement that supports our local communities.

Image via <a rel="nofollow" href="" target="_blank">UNESCO</a>
Image via UNESCO

Shopping Small can have a huge impact locally, but with organizations like TO THE MARKET, the impact can be global as well. TO THE MARKET has Local Partners that are small businesses helping women artisans become economically empowered through the dignity of work in areas all over the world, both in the United States and abroad. TO THE MARKET promotes artisanal goods, offers a platform for the artisans to share their story, and provides resources such as trend forecasting to the Local Partners. As a small business themselves, TO THE MARKET understands the challenges that these businesses face and has created a global marketplace and community that connects buyers and sellers while providing the unique support small businesses need.

This kind of global marketplace makes Small Business Saturday a day in which you can do your holiday shopping while also helping to increase opportunities for vulnerable artisans to sustain and grow their businesses. Entrepreneurship and small businesses in in vulnerable communities in need of flexibility are essential for economic growth and independence. Innovative entrepreneurs in these places are creating jobs, boosting economic development, and providing quality products and services. Supporting small businesses is no longer just a local phenomenon, so this holiday season you can Shop Small and make an impact with your buying choices both in the U.S. and around the world.

Sarah Olson is a business student passionate about socially responsible business practices and a contributor for TO THE MARKET's blog. She is from Colorado and is pursuing her bachelor's degree in Business Administration at the University of Colorado Boulder. 
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