In between the frenzy of Black Friday and mania of Cyber Monday, Small Business Saturday stands out by offering customers unique products and a more relaxed shopping experience. American Express started the Small Business Saturday tradition on November 27, 2010. Since then, the Shop Small movement has gained considerable momentum – and there’s a good reason for that. In fact, there are several.

1.  Small Business Saturday allows shoppers to trade crowded malls and staring at device screens for hours on end in favor of a relaxing day of browsing, dining and reconnecting with their communities.

2.  Small businesses endow their hometowns with a distinct charm, etching their unique branding and architectural styles into the local business landscape.

3.  Small businesses don’t usually have their own marketing, legal or maintenance departments, so they frequently farm these tasks out to local ad agencies, accountants, attorneys, and tradespeople – further strengthening their area’s economy.

4.  Dollars spent at small, local businesses are more likely to stay in the immediate community. According to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, every $100 spent at your neighborhood independent merchant generates $45 of secondary local spending. Spend that same $100 at a national retailer, and just $14 recirculates within the area’s economy.

5.  Small business owners often have a firsthand understanding of current trends within their communities, from specialty food items to popular fan-gear.

6.  Compared to big-box stores, small businesses put less of a strain on local resources such as emergency services, roads and electrical grids.

7.  Finally, small businesses have a way of getting bigger. Your neighborhood brewery/café could have some serious growth potential on tap, and dollars spent there today might bring an economic boom to the local economy tomorrow.

American Express estimates that 112 million shoppers patronized local merchants on Small Business Saturday in 2016, spending $15.4 billion. Join National Merchants Association in supporting small businesses during the holiday shopping season and all year round.

National Merchants Association is a global merchant advocacy group and a leader in merchant services. If you need a merchant services provider that understands the unique challenges faced by smaller online businesses and brick-and-mortar shops, contact NMA today at www.nationalmerchants.com or call (866) 509-7199.