How Florida Could Make Small Business Saturday a Holiday
A day originally concocted by a credit card company could soon become a real type of holiday in the Sunshine State. According to the Orlando Sentinel the Florida State Senate has proposed a bill that would make Small Business Saturday, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, a tax holiday. Similar to how many states offer consumers breaks for back to school shopping one weekend a year the bill would allow shoppers to purchase items up to $1,000 dollars from small businesses (those with less than $3.3 million in annual revenue) tax-free on that particular day.
Florida’s State Legislature actually tried to make this tax holiday happen last year but it was not approved as part of the larger tax package. A similar bill (which was also part of a broader tax plan) passed in the House recently and has now been approved by Senate’s Finance and Tax Committee. Next the bill will go to the Senate Appropriations Committee.
Small Business Saturday has an interesting history albeit a relatively short one. It was actually created by American Express back in 2010 but has since grown far beyond the initial P.R. move. In 2015 shoppers spent $16.2 billion with more than 95 million consumers visiting independent and local retailers on that day.
In addition to the bill in Florida, efforts have been made in New Mexico to pass a similar tax holiday for Small Business Saturday. The bill there would define a small business as one that makes under $2 million a year in revenue and also adds the stipulation that a business must be open at least a year in order to receive a tax credit from the holiday. Speaking to KRQE in Albuquerque the bill’s sponsor, Representative David Atkins, said, “For every dollar that is spent at a big box store, only about 13 percent of that money stays local. I thought this might be a good thing to do for our small businesses.”
Whether either bill will ultimately be approved or if other states may follow their lead remains to be seen. Still it’s an impressive turn of events and could be a significant gesture for small business owners in Florida, New Mexico, and beyond. Perhaps one day Small Business Saturday will be considered a real holiday — or at least a tax one.