2019 Small Business Saturday Spending Reaches New Record
After weeks of anticipation, this past weekend, the big day finally arrived: Small Business Saturday. What’s more, early numbers suggest this year’s event was a hit. According to the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey — released by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Business — Americans spent $19.6 billion at independent retailers on Saturday, November 30th. This marks a new record for Small Business Saturday, which celebrated its 10th year.
Elsewhere data from Adobe Analytics finds that online purchases from small businesses totaled $3.6 billion on the holiday, marking an 18% increase over last year. Incidentally, this year’s event landed on the last day of November. As a result Small Business Saturday helped bolster small business online sales to an estimated $68.2 billion for the month. That too is up from 2018, growing 14.9% this time around.
Not surprisingly, the overwhelming majority of those who shopped for Small Business Saturday had positive things to say about small businesses in general. The Consumer Insights Survey found that 97% of participating consumers agreed that small businesses are essential parts of their communities. In turn, 95% state that the annual event made them more inclined to patronize independent retailers and restaurants during the rest of the year. For their part, Amex said in a press release that they’re looking to encourage cardholders by recognizing their purchases at small businesses.
Reflecting on this year’s event, Amex’s Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Rutledge said of the results, “We all came together on Saturday to prove that shopping small really does add up. We are thrilled to report that shoppers are increasingly making a conscious effort to Shop Small and support their local communities, and over the past 10 years consumers reported spending an estimated total of more than $120 billion at small businesses on Small Business Saturday.”
Meanwhile Group President of Global Merchant and Network Services for American Express Anré Williams noted that the card is working its way to more small businesses, saying, “We are proud that more than three million new places in the U.S. started to accept American Express over the past three years, and we look forward to continuing to demonstrate the many ways that welcoming American Express is good for business.” To that point, news recently emerged that the card company was offering bonuses to select businesses and working with them on swipe fees in a bid to expand their acceptance footprint.
Based on these initial figures, it seems that Small Business Saturday was once again a success for entrepreneurs and American Express alike. Of course, while the card company may have founded the retail event, it seems that fact becomes a bit less known with each passing year. Instead Small Business Saturday has taken on a life on its own and seems poised to only grow larger in its next 10 years.