As the champion for America’s small business, the U.S. Small Business Administration shines a spotlight on the importance of small business to our national and local economy. About half of all American workers are either employed by a small business or own a small business. And two out of three net new jobs are created by small businesses. In North Dakota, 73,142 small businesses employ more than 198,000 workers. I encourage you to join me and many of our friends and neighbors as we show our support for our small business owners by “shopping small” on Small Business Saturday, Nov. 30.

Founded by American Express in 2010 and officially cosponsored by SBA since 2015, Small Business Saturday has become an important part of how many small businesses launch their busiest shopping season. Last year, the 2018 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey found total reported spending, among U.S. consumers who said they shopped at independent retails and restaurants on the day, reached a record high of an estimated $17.8 billion. The same survey reported that more than 70% of consumers are now aware of the Small Business Saturday initiative. Based on this annual survey over the years, Small Business Saturday spending has now reached an estimated $103 billion since the day began in 2010.

Even online shoppers supported main street small businesses in 2018. Among consumers who said they participated on the day, 41% reported that they shopped small online on Small Business Saturday.

You can do your part to “shop small” with these five simple steps:

  • If you are a business owner, make sure you’re prepared for the holiday shopping season by checking out helpful advice by visiting SBA’s Small Business Saturday site at
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  • If you’re a customer, commit to making at least one purchase from a locally-owned small business retailer. Get to know the owner and make your gift more meaningful by sharing their story as part of what you give your loved ones.
  • Enjoy the experience. Travel outside your comfort zone — and away from your computer screen — to discover an out-of-the ordinary shopping district with some trendy local stores.
  • Take part in Small Business Saturday on social media, using the hashtag #ShopSmall to amplify your support. If you find a great small business retailer with unique products, Tweet or Facebook your find so others can enjoy it too.
  • When you open your gifts, start a conversation about which one came from the most distinctive and creative sellers. This can make for great debate over eggnog or your holiday drink of choice.

For more information on SBA’s programs and services visit or follow us on Twitter @SBA_NorthDakota.

Haut is director of the Small Business Administration's district office in North Dakota