Small business Saturday by the numbers

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Small business Saturday by the numbers

6:46 p.m. PST November 27, 2015

Today is Small Business Saturday, the fifth year of the campaign. Here are some things you might want to know concerning the day:

The first Small Business Saturday was launched by American Express on Nov. 27, 2010 to help small businesses — establishments that employ 500 or fewer people — compete with the mall- and big box store-driven Black Friday, and to encourage patrons and policy makers to think more about small businesses year-round.

In 2011, elected officials across the country, including President Obama, voiced their support for the day.

“From the mom-and-pop storefront shops that anchor Main Street to the high-tech startups that keep America on the cutting edge, small businesses are the backbone of our economy and the cornerstones of our Nation’s promise,” President Obama said that year. “These businesses create two out of every three new jobs in America, helping spur economic development in communities across our country and giving millions of families and individuals the opportunity to achieve the American dream.

73.9 million people went to shop at small businesses, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey of 2012.

In 2013, more than 1,450 “neighborhood champions” signed up to rally their communities for the day, according to American Express.

As of last year, the day hit a record high with an estimated $14.3 billion spent at small, independent businesses, according to the Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey of 2014.

Should these trends continue, 2015 may be the largest year for small businesses yet.

This day is especially significant for Oregon, as more than 97 percent of Oregon companies are considered small businesses and these businesses employ more than half of Oregon’s private workforce, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

As of 2014, the Small Business Administration reported:

  • 346,753 small businesses in Oregon
  • 85,597 small businesses with employees
  • 261,156 small businesses without employee
  • 757,132 workers employed by small businesses

Salem alone has dozens of restaurants, shops, entertainment businesses and more that provide products and services to thousands of locals.

Something unique about Black Friday and Small Business Saturday this year is the #BlackOutBlackFriday movement that has developed after incidents such as Ferguson.

According to the Black Out Black Friday webpage, black Americans contribute approximately $1.1 trillion to the consumer economy, and large businesses make 25 to 50 percent of their yearly revenue during the holiday season alone.

As a result, people of color are rallying to support small businesses owned by black people and other people of color and to economically boycott the other holiday deals.

As of 2014, 19.3 percent of all Oregon small business owners were black or African American, according to the Small Business Administration.

npate@StatesmanJournal.com, (503) 399-6745, or follow on Twitter @Nataliempate

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