One SouthCoast Chamber Co-CEO on Supporting Small Business Saturday
Did American Express lose sight of the business jubilee that they actually started in 2010, which also benefitted so many SouthCoast businesses? Where did all those stellar TV commercials go that showed the day dedicated to and celebrating small businesses, and encouraging consumers to shop local establishments?
"In years past, there was a lot of Small Business Saturday marketing that came directly out of American Express, but this year we haven't seen that," remarked Rick Kidder, Co-CEO of One SouthCoast Chamber.
To refresh your memory, the red-letter day gained considerable traction in 2011, when the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution supporting it. Yet in the age of COVID-19, when it's needed the most, we're hearing crickets from the founders?
Sandwiched between the frenzy of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, our small businesses need our support.
"When somebody shops locally, 80 percent of those dollars stay in the community. When somebody shops online, almost none of that money becomes local," Kidder said. "And interestingly, about 80 percent of the people who are employed in this country work in a small business."
The SouthCoast has a fabulous assortment of mom and pop retail shops, "and these businesses, that define our local character and work ethic, are the same people that support our local little leagues and such," reminded Kidder.
"I never minimize the big box stores because they are employing people who live here. However, at One Southcoast Chamber, our members are 90 percent small businesses," Kidder said. "We believe in small business, who've found it so difficult to stay open. We look at our membership numbers when we send out billings, and every month, and we'll get two, three or four that come back saying 'addressee unknown' or 'no longer here.'"
Local businesses are owned and operated by your neighbors. Small Business Saturday allows us to use our holiday shopping dollars to acknowledge the importance of small businesses and the contribution they make to our community and local economy.
"What I'm hoping out of all of this is that we can shop and appreciate our small businesses," Kidder said.