Why Small Business Saturday is a boon for Utah, Wyoming and other Mountain West states

News assignment

What started as an event by American Express a little over ten years ago is now a common tradition across the country. Local businesses are gearing up for Small Business Saturday, an event to encourage holiday shopping at brick-and-mortar stores during one of the busiest times of the year.

Small Business Saturday generated more than $23 billion between Thanksgiving and Cyber ​​Monday last year, according to the American Express 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey. This is an increase of 18% compared to 2020.

This year, 42% of consumers plan to participate, according to a survey conducted by LendingTree. The online loan marketplace ranks Utah no. 1 in his analysis of where small businesses are most prominent. Wyoming, Montana, Nevada and Colorado too among the top 15. About 60% of businesses in these states have fewer than five employees.

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Aikta Marcoulier works for the US Small Business Administration in the Rocky Mountain region. She said Small Business Saturday is more important than ever because of the pandemic.

“We’ve seen disasters in Colorado before, but now we’re dealing with a prolonged disaster,” she said. “It’s extremely important for us and Colorado businesses to take advantage of this time of year.”

She said this event isn’t just about finding items that aren’t in the big box stores — it’s about keeping small businesses alive.

“78% of small businesses … the revenue they collect during this shopping season will determine whether they will operate next year,” she said.

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A survey conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business in 2018 found that 67 cents of every dollar spent at a local business stays in the community, promoting economic development.

Marcoulier said customers can also support small businesses by shopping their online stores, buying their gift cards and promoting them on social media. This can be especially helpful for small businesses that aren’t in metropolitan areas like Denver or Salt Lake City.

A lot of our region is rural, and it’s very important to remember that we need to protect those rural businesses as well,” she said. “And what’s really exciting is most of our many businesses, the pandemic has driven them to be online. So e-commerce and online shopping are part of small business today.”

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The US Small Business Administration has free resources and a list of resource partners on its website if businesses need help getting the word out.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O’Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado , KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations throughout the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.


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