Today, County Executive Calvin Ball and community leaders encouraged Howard County residents to “Shop Small, Shop Local” this Saturday and throughout the upcoming holiday season. Ball and others highlighted the many options to shop small and local this year, including emphasizing that many shops have set-up online stores and offer pick-up or delivery. In Howard County 80% of businesses have less than 20 employees.
“Small businesses have been among the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, making Small Business Saturday this year more vital than ever,” sad Ball. “For every dollar spent at a small business in Howard County, 68 cents goes right back into our community. These local shops are the foundation of our strong business community and have worked hard to create online shopping options, delivery and pick-up, or ensured you can shop safely in their stores. Let’s show our small local businesses how much we love and appreciate them this Saturday.”
Small Business Saturday has been held the weekend after Thanksgiving since it was created eleven years ago by American Express following the 2009 recession and has since gained largescale popularity. Last year, sales on Small Business Saturday in the United States reached a record $9.6 billion.
“Shopping local is the most direct way to support our local economy during this time when our small businesses need us the most,” said Larry Twele, President/CEO of the Howard County Economic Development Authority. “And it is important to remember that it is safe to do so – our local malls, merchants and restaurants are committed to providing a safe shopping and dining experience for all of their customers.”
“Small businesses are the backbone of local economies. They are creating the lion share of jobs and are often the most community minded of the employment community,” said Leonardo McClarty, President/CEO of the Howard County Chamber of Commerce. “Small Business Saturday has always been important but in challenging economic times like these, it is extremely important that we stand by and stand up for our small businesses.”
“This holiday season people are staying close to home which is the perfect opportunity for residents to explore all that Howard County retailers have to offer,” added Amanda Hof, executive director for Visit Howard County, “Our locally based shops are counting on the community more than ever and shoppers can feel good about supporting them.”