By: Stephen Waguespack
While the political ads and mailbox clutter has finally ended due to election season wrapping up, a new invasion of ads are now upon us: the holiday shopping season ads. This week is Black Friday, which traditionally is the biggest shopping day of the year and the kickoff to a shopping month which is critical for retailers of all sizes.
The margins for retail have become much tighter in recent years as customers have increasingly migrated to online shopping. This trend is expected to only increase as the years go by, making it even more challenging for your traditional brick and mortar retail businesses. These backbones of every Louisiana local economy need your support – especially small business retailers that serve their community day after day throughout the year.
“Small Business Saturday” started as a simple idea to help struggling local businesses during the 2010 recession. Nine Small Business Saturdays later, and American consumers have spent an estimated $103 billion with their local businesses. Considering that for every dollar spent in the U.S. at one of our small businesses, 67 cents stays in the local community, that’s good news for communities across the country.
LABI is happy to help promote the tenth Small Business Saturday in Louisiana this coming Saturday, November 30. There are 447,440 small businesses in our state – which accounts for 99.5 percent of all businesses operating here. So when you hear “small businesses are the backbone of our economy,” that’s a pretty accurate analogy. Those small businesses employ just over half of the state’s private workforce – or 902,758 people in areas like health care, food services and retail trade. Additionally, small businesses are responsible for creating 2 out of every 3 new jobs.
Here at LABI, our 2,200 member businesses collectively employ more than 300,000 Louisiana workers, and 80 percent of those are small businesses. We’re extremely proud of that.
So, as you kick the Christmas gift-giving season into high gear, remember to visit your local small businesses. And encourage your friends and family to do the same – consider making it a game to see how much of your giving can originate locally or with a Louisiana-owned small business. The gourmet goodie specialty supplier, the handmade gift shops, the art galleries and clothing stores – not to mention the restaurants and coffee shops – spend this Saturday spending with our Louisiana small businesses.
And while you’re at it, spread the word. Share pictures on social media and give your local favorites a shout-out, brag on your neighborhood establishments, and use the hashtag #ShopSmallLouisiana.
And while local merchants and restauranteurs will certainly appreciate your patronage on Saturday, November 30, they would love even more to see you show up in their doorways throughout the year. Doing so drives our local economies, keeping your dollars in your own community.