How could small business holiday shopping impact Utah?

<p dir=”ltr”><span>Although plenty of Americans are lamenting Black Friday’s creep into Thanksgiving territory, there’s plenty of good news this year for small businesses, thanks to Small Business Saturday efforts.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><a href=””><span>Forbes</span></a> <span>reports that Small Business Saturday sales for 2015 increased by 14% compared to last year’s figures, bringing in an estimated $16.2 billion for independently-owned shops in the United States.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The initiative began in 2010 and was started by American Express to bring more awareness to U.S. mom-and-pop businesses.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>It’s been successful, according the most recent Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey from the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The survey found that more than 95 million consumers shopped at small businesses on Small Business Saturday this year, not only buying at retail establishments, but also stopping into their favorite local restaurants.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Total spending increased to $16.2 billion this year, up 14% from the $14.3 billion spent on the day last year.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>In fact, small and startup businesses in the U.S. continue to grow overall, according to recent research. In 2014, 275 businesses completed their initial public offerings,</span> <a href=””><span>23% more</span></a> <span>than the 222 total IPOs in 2013.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Local businesses in Utah also got a push thanks to Small Business Saturday and civic leaders who encourage residents to keep their dollars local.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Although it can be tempting to shop at home, in your pajamas, on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, organizers of local Small Business Saturday and Shift Your Spending Week say that it’s better to keep the money in-state.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The groups say that for every $100 spent in a local store, roughly $56 stays in the community.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Compare that with shopping at a big box store, when only $13 for every $100 stays in the community, reports the</span> <a href=””><span>Deseret News</span></a><span>.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Thanks to an improving economy, consumers are also hopeful about their spending habits this season, said Price Waterhouse Coopers.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The accounting company predicts that consumers will spend an average of $1,018 this holiday season on travel, entertainment, and gifts, the latter of which will make up more than half of those purchases.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Of consumers surveyed by the firm, 53% say that they will spend the same as they did last year, and 32% say that they plan to spend even more.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>The state’s leaders implore shoppers to give that money to small businesses this year, not giants like Amazon or Wal-Mart.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Kristen Lavelett, executive director of Local First Utah, explained to the</span> <span>Deseret News</span> <span>that the impact goes beyond benefiting the economy.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>”We embrace our friends and our neighbors,” Lavelett said. “We contribute to the places where we live. We provide support to the locally-owned businesses that support local charities, that create jobs, that keep money circulating through our economy.”</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Thankfully, said Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams, Utah’s small businesses are both surviving and thriving in the state’s communities.</span></p><p dir=”ltr”><span>Yet if Utahns shift their spending by just 10% in favor of local businesses, the state’s economy could bring in more than $1 billion this holiday season.</span></p>

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