Consumer spending set to set new records

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Black Friday is over, and now is the time for holiday shoppers to flock to small businesses in their communities.

Saturday marks Small Business Saturday, a day created by American Express in 2010 to draw consumers’ attention to stores in their community. Buyers are encouraged to shop small and buy locally.

And according to the US Small Business Administration (SBA), that’s exactly what they did last year.

“Last year, buyers came together in force to support their local communities, and Small Business Saturday hit an all-time high with estimated spending of $ 19.8 billion,” the SBA said in a press release . “This year, consumer spending during the holidays is expected to break new records.”

A “Small Business Saturday” sign is displayed outside the Fishs Eddy store on November 28, 2020, in New York City. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld / Getty Images)

Small businesses have faced great uncertainty throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Many had to rethink their business model when indoor collection became unsafe.

The SBA said 6 million small businesses had relied on federal help to stay afloat during the pandemic. According to the Federal Reserve, up to 200,000 of them went out of business in the first year of the pandemic.

The SBA provided $ 44.8 billion to small businesses through more than 61,000 loans in fiscal 2021.

But it wasn’t all bad news. Several million businesses have started up in the midst of the pandemic.

RELATED: Startups have had a record year, Census Bureau to start official tally

According to the Committee on Small Business, Americans have filed documents to create 4.3 million new businesses in 2020, a 24% increase from 2019 and the highest number in 15 years. Representative Nydia Velazquez, who chairs the committee, said young entrepreneurs have faced a tough job market by turning to entrepreneurship to develop businesses and products that serve their communities.

“COVID has shut down countless small businesses and left many more on the brink of disaster,” said Velazquez, a Democrat representing New York’s seventh congressional district. “Yet at the same time, it is possible that the pandemic has sparked a revitalization of American entrepreneurship.”

Almost all communities have small businesses serving local customers. Think of the family-run restaurant that has been open for decades, vintage-looking bookstores, or local gyms that aren’t as crowded as the big chains.

Still need vacation photos of your loved ones, there is no shortage of local photographers to film you. A local jeweler may have a better discount than national stores. And with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, a flower shop gift card would come in handy before you know it.

This story was reported from Atlanta.


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