For many reasons, consumers ought to support local businesses in their communities, but no reason in today’s economy is more important that the creation of jobs.
According to the Federal Small Business Administration, small businesses provide more than half the nation’s private sector jobs, and over the last 17 years have generated more than 65 percent of all new jobs.
“Small business drives the American economy,” said Dr. Chad Moutray, chief economist for the Office of Advocacy in a release issued by the SBA. “Main Street provides the jobs and spurs our economic growth. American entrepreneurs are creative and productive, and these numbers prove it.”
For places like Broadway in Bayonne, there is a reason for every business as the holiday season approaches.
This year, American Express will team up with local business organizations such as the Town Center Management Association to encourage people to shop locally in an event called Small Business Saturday.
“I think that Small Business Saturday is a wonderful tool to encourage people to shop.” – Mary Divock
In order to promote the event, American Express gave $25 to 100,000 card holders to shop at local businesses that accept American Express. The company also gave $100 worth of free Facebook advertising to 10,000 business owners.
For every $100 spent in locally-owned stores, $68 is returned to the community through taxes, according to the 3/50 Project, a small business advocacy group.
A real bargain for shoppers
For Maria Provenzano-Upenieks, owner of Herbert’s Army and Navy Store at 468 Broadway, Small Business Saturday is also an opportunity for shoppers to purchase many of the American-made goods that her store provides.
“We are bringing in American-made products that are better made than what you find in larger stores,” she said. “And by purchasing them, people help create jobs in the United States.”
With the holiday season coming, Herbert’s has stocked up in winter garments that will help keep people warm.
“These are first-rate quality products that people aren’t paying more for,” she added.
Many of the lesser-quality products made out of the United States wear out much faster than locally-made clothing so that people have to replace them often.
“I’m hoping to have a lot more American-made products in the store for Christmas,” she said.
Mel Stock, owner of Barney Stock, another mainstay of Broadway, embraced Small Business Saturday as getting the best of two worlds: good quality products, as well as a discount from the credit card company.
Combined with the store’s own annual bonus bills promotion, Stock said customers can find incredible bargains this year.
A boost for the local economy
Launched last year, Small Business Saturday was meant to encourage shopping at small businesses during the weekend following Thanksgiving, helping remind residents to save some of their holiday shopping for local businesses.
“Small business is the engine of job creation in the U.S. economy,” said American Express Chief Executive Officer Ken Chenault. “By spreading the word about Small Business Saturday, we can help raise awareness about the critical role small businesses play in cities and towns across the country.”
Town Center is behind the effort, too.
“I think that Small Business Saturday is a wonderful tool to encourage people to shop,” said Mary Divock, executive director of Bayonne Town Center Management. “It makes us a real community and neighborhood.”
Town Center has a number of quality stores on and off Broadway such Aaron’s Gold, Kodak Jewelers, Jerry’s Drugs, Victoria TV, Colonial House of Pets, and the many other stores from which Small Business Saturday will benefit.
“[It] gives more businesses the recognition they deserve. The people that run these stores are relatives and neighbors, and we need to support them,” Divock said.
For more information and a full list of sponsors, visit www.smallbusinesssaturday.com.