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It takes a village: supporting the small businesses that make our communities unique

Small businesses play a vital role in building up local communities – from creating jobs to driving economic growth through new ideas and innovations that enrich the regions they serve and live in – these companies are paving the future while empowering the next generation of entrepreneurs.

Shop small or Small Business Saturday® is more than an occasion to help kick off the holiday shopping season. It’s a global movement reinforcing the notion that when you purchase a piece of handmade jewelry from a local artisan or a cup of coffee from a neighborhood café, that money is going directly back into the community and making a significant difference to the local economy. 

In an effort to bolster and support the small business community, organizations and neighborhood advocates from across the country have rallied together to serve as a voice for the growing ‘shop small’ movement.

Fostering local communities

Over the past several years, there’s been a real movement to promote shopping at small businesses across the country. Paysafe has long been a supporter of American Express’ Shop Small and Small Business Saturday initiatives, with the aim of bringing attention to the independent businesses that empower our communities and provide invaluable contributions to the U.S. economy.

Created in 2010, the program was designed with the goal of encouraging people to shop locally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, during what is one of the biggest retail events of the year. Since its conception, Small Business Saturday has become an integral component of the holiday shopping season. In 2021, U.S. shoppers spent an estimated $23.3 billion at independent retailers and restaurants following Black Friday.

Meaningful job creation

Small businesses play a key role in the development of a thriving community. They foster innovation and contribute to local economies with new ideas, products, and experiences that stimulate job creation, attract tourism, and establish a healthy ecosystem in which businesses from neighboring areas also benefit.

With over 32.5 million independently owned businesses in the U.S. and approximately 600,000 new ‘starts’ each year, small businesses represent well over 99% of all businesses in the U.S. They contribute to the creation of about two-thirds of all new jobs annually, and according to the U.S. Small Business Administration, nearly half of all Americans are currently employed by an independently owned business. In addition to small businesses directly employing members of the community, spending by those small businesses and their employees in the area also supports local jobs.

Investing in future generations of entrepreneurship  

More than two years since the COVID-19 pandemic started, independent business owners continue to navigate a number of challenges as rising inflation rates, staff shortages, and ongoing supply chain woes loom in the foreground. In response, small business advocates continue to stress that as businesses work to safeguard against future economic disruption, it’s more important than ever to shop small and to sow the seeds for future generations to flourish.

Accelerating small business growth through payments technology

Unlike big brand retailers, the experience customers receive when shopping with a local store is often a memorable one, with personal touches added in. That’s because small business owners recognize that building meaningful relationships with their customer base is a key differentiator when navigating competitive markets. For most small business owners, a reliable payments partner with experience is key to advise on payments technology that suits the business best. By choosing the best POS (point-of-sale) technology available, suited for their day-to-day operational needs, and accepting multiple payment methods, businesses create differentiation. This comes in handy in busier times of the year, such as Small Business Saturday, empowering merchants to offer a prime customer experience.

The benefits of implementing the right payments technology extend beyond the consumer user-experience. A reliable payment processing platform results in frictionless transactions and offers accurate and compliant sales reports, reducing the administrative burden on managers.

At its core, the shop small initiative celebrates the diversity of small businesses across the U.S. and recognizes the importance of supporting local entrepreneurship, the jobs they help create, and the culture they foster in the communities they serve and live in. What originally started as a grassroots campaign to encourage consumers to shop small during a single day of the holiday season, has transformed over the years into a nationwide movement galvanizing people to shop small every day of the year.

If you are a small or medium-sized business, learn more about Paysafe’s Small Business Program.