(Photo by David Dvořáček on Unsplash)

By Stephen D. Umberger, District Director, SBA Baltimore

Leaves are turning, temperatures are falling, and to-do lists are growing. Our thoughts turn to family gatherings and holiday traditions. It’s time to give thanks and celebrate one another and it’s the perfect opportunity to show appreciation for local entrepreneurs. Small businesses need our support more than ever. Skip the long lines at big box stores and head out on Small Business Saturday (November 26th) to “shop small” and local.

Since 2011, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been a formal cosponsor of Small Business Saturday, founded by American Express in 2010. Last year, shoppers showed up to support their local communities, and Small Business Saturday hit a record high with an estimated $19.8 billion in reported spending.

Small businesses are vital to the Maryland economy. They are the cornerstones of our neighborhoods, provide jobs and give back to their communities. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of Advocacy, small businesses account for 99.5 percent of all Maryland businesses and employ nearly half of the workforce in the state. To put it in perspective, for every $100 you spend at a locally owned business, roughly $68 stays in your local economy.

Many towns across the state are hosting special events, with retailers offering discounts and refreshments to draw consumers to Maryland’s main streets for a special shopping experience. Whether shopping in person or online, you’ll see that small businesses offer a wide variety of unique gifts and services, with unmatched customer service.  

‘Tis the season to be thankful and enjoy quality time and precious moments with family and friends. Show your thanks for small businesses who add so much to our communities and support them by shopping and dining “small” throughout the holiday season.

(Photo by David Dvořáček on Unsplash)

If you’re an entrepreneur, the SBA has programs that can help you start, grow, and manage your small business, including access to capital, free one-on-one counseling, free or low-cost training, and government contracting assistance. Learn more at sba.gov.

Best wishes for joyous and healthy holidays. Don’t forget to shop and dine “small” this holiday season and throughout the year. 

Happy shopping!

Stephen D. Umberger is the district director of SBA (Small Business Administration) Baltimore, an organization dedicated to helping small business owners and entrepreneurs succeed.

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