The weeks during the holidays are traditionally the busiest shopping days of the year. Last year, a record 189.6 million U.S. consumers shopped the five-day period from Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday, an increase of 14% over 2018, according to the National Retail Federation.
Shoppers in 2020 are expected to spend more, a 29% increase in e-commerce compared to 2019 and a 5% bump in in-store sales is being forecasted. Yet those predictions are triggering concern that consumers will end up spending millions at national or international businesses to the detriment of local businesses struggling to keep up amid the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic.
Retailers see 20% of their annual sales in November and December. In this unique and challenging year, sales are even more critical for many small businesses. After months of outright shutdowns and dwindling business and increased operating costs, local retailers are counting on consumers to truly #ShopLocal.
While the pandemic has been hard on everyone, restaurants and local retail shops have been particularly hard hit.
Buying from smaller, local businesses has benefits beyond just that individual business. Studies show that when you buy from a locally owned store, significantly more of your money is then used to make purchases from other local businesses and service providers, thus multiplying the impact your dollar has within the community.
And local spending generates sales tax revenue that stays in our community, supports our local schools, and helps keep and create jobs.
In fact, a recent report found that from 2012 to 2019, 60% of all new jobs created were created by businesses with fewer than 100 employees. Over the past five years, total employment for all businesses increased by 1.8%.
Small businesses have worked tirelessly to adapt to the demands of the pandemic. Many have also increased their capacity for online sales and shipping. If you feel the same way we do about supporting local businesses and our local economy, consider taking the time to shop local, whether in-person or online.
Help make this a joyous holiday for everyone: Give the gift of your business to a local business.
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