Small Business Saturday Sees Record $23.3 Billion in Sales

This past weekend, the holiday shopping season officially kicked off with Black Friday (although several retailers moved up their sales events in some capacity this year). Of course, following the big Friday event, Saturday marked the 12th annual Small Business Saturday, which was founded by American Express to promote small businesses and encourage consumers to Shop Small. It looks as though that message has continued to spread as this year’s event reached new heights.

According to American Express’s 2021 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey, sales on Small Business Saturday 2021 are projected to have hit $23.3 billion. This marks a new record for the retail holiday, building 18% on 2020’s $19.8 billion. Meanwhile, 2019’s total came in at $19.6 billion. With the latest installment, Small Business Saturday has now generated an estimated $163 billion in sales since launching in 2010.

When asked about their participation in Small Businessday Saturday, 79% of respondents stated that they understood the importance of supporting their community’s small businesses on this particular day. Furthermore, 64% explained that they made it a priority to discover and shop at businesses with underrepresented ownership this year. And while the one-day sales record is one thing, Amex’s survey also found that the majority of consumers plan to further support their local small businesses. Of those surveyed, two-thirds stated they wanted to Shop Small year-round.

Interestingly, online sales also made up a larger share this year than in previous years — including 2020. Amex found that 58% of consumers reported making an online purchase compared to 56% last year and just 43% in 2019. This would suggest that small businesses with e-retail components are seeing the greatest benefit.

In a statement regarding this year’s event, American Express’s Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Rutledge said, “This Small Business Saturday, communities coast to coast came together to show their support for the small businesses they cherish.” Rutledge went on to note Amex’s larger goals and commitments to small businesses, stating, “We can all make a difference when we Shop Small and American Express is committed to encouraging consumers to do so all year long through our goal to drive $100 billion in consumer spending at small businesses over the next five years.”

As expected, Small Business Saturday 2021 turned out to be positive for many entrepreneurs across the country. Now the hope is that consumers will continue to frequent those businesses they may have discovered on Saturday — as well as seek out other local establishments throughout the year. On that note, now is a great time for small business owners to take an assessment of what worked well this Small Business Saturday and how they can apply it to future events and beyond.


Jonathan Dyer

I'm a small town guy living in Los Angeles looking to make solid financial decisions. I write for a number of finance websites, including HuffingtonPost and Business2Community. I founded in 2015 to focus on personal finance and the emerging FinTech markets.

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