It’s that time of year again. The HOLIDAYS! Dare to blink after Halloween and you’ll find yourself roasting a turkey and dreading all the forthcoming gift-giving celebrations just ahead. On the day after Thanksgiving (called “Black Friday” due to the massive sales that drive retailer bottom lines out of the red and into the black), shoppers swarm the malls in search of drastic discounts. While the day provides a much-needed boon for national retailers, small businesses — that can’t compete with such volume discounts — are often overlooked by deal-driven customers.
Ten years ago, American Express came up with an idea to help their small business clients cash in on the holiday shopping frenzy. Small Business Saturday encourages consumers to shop at the mom-and-pop stores in their local communities. Thanks to that effort, an estimated $5.5billion was spent at small businesses nationwide in 2010 on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and another $120 billion in total since then.
This year, your patronage on Small Business Saturday is even more critical, as it may mean life or death for your neighborhood shops. Unfortunately, lockdown and work-from-home measures brought about by COVID-19 have disproportionately affected small businesses.According to the World Economic Forum, nearly a quarter of all small businesses remain closed since the first forced closure due to COVID and, surprisingly, the Bay Area is experiencing nearly double the national average of small business closures.
In support of Small Business Saturday, as well as our membership, Revel will be launching a “virtual market" of small businesses owned and operated by fellow Revelers. Starting this coming Monday, November 23rd, Revel members can access links to retail websites, plus special discount codes, to more than 20 participating businesses. To help with your holiday shopping, this special promotion will run through December. Bookmark Revel’s homepage for more details.
For many of our Revelers who own small businesses, their business is an extension of who they are. Supporting the local businesses within your community not only keeps those businesses alive, but keeps the communities they serve thriving, as well. When you shop at your local bakery, restaurant, coffee shop or neighborhood boutique, you’re investing in your local community. Amex estimates that 67 cents of every dollar spend at a small business stay within your local economy. Certainly, Revel recognizes the importance of building a thriving community — it’s our mission.
Indeed, the knack for building community may be the underlying marker of success for women entrepreneurs. Journalist Elizabeth MacBride writes in a 2019 Forbes article, “…the investments women made in relationships and community earlier in their careers have started paying dividends. Women of professional stature over 40 have wide and deep networks, and the sensibility to use them.” As evidence, she points out that the average age of the founders of the highest-growth startups is 45. “Given that caring for children generally causes women, on average, to lag a few years in their careers, I think it’s a safe bet that more older women are starting successful companies than in the past, and that they account for a growing share of the top startups,” MacBride asserts.
We couldn’t agree more. Within our own membership, we see women thriving as small business owners. Just look at the popularity of our Entrepreneurship Group. Small businesses employ nearly half of the private-sector workforce and are increasingly owned by women, according to the American Express 2017State of Small Business Report. The report reveals that women own more than 11.6 million firms, employing nearly 9 million people and generating $1.7 trillion in sales. And the numbers continue to rise year after year — a testament to women standing on the foundation of their community.
All we can say is “Brava!”