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Why spending at small businesses is critical for local communities

Nearly two-thirds of every dollar spent shopping at a small business finds its way back into the local community. It’s something shoppers may want to consider when buying gifts for the holidays.

Ahead of the 10th annual Small Business Saturday, American Express is urging consumers to shop small. And with online shopping expected to reach a new record this year, senior vice president of global brand planning and content at American Express (AXP), Andy Goldberg, says supporting small business is increasingly important.

“Ten years ago, coming out of the recession, you saw small businesses and small merchants really struggling to get back on their feet,” Goldberg tells Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker. “American Express stepped in and really started to grow this into an annual holiday, turning it into an opportunity around Black Friday and Cyber Monday to drive attention and consumers to their small businesses.”

Adobe Analytics estimates $7.5 billion in sales for Black Friday, a 20.5% increase year-over-year. This comes as Salesforce reports online sales on Thanksgiving day alone jumped 17% to $4.1 billion in the United States. Goldberg hopes American Express’s Small Business Saturday initiative will help drive some of that spending at a local level.

“We issue cards either for small business opportunities or [businesses] take American Express when people come in and buy their products,” Goldberg says. “We help give [owners] tools to really grow their business and an opportunity to promote their business to their local communities.” 

Small business in the U.S.

American Express says $0.67 cents of every dollar spent at small businesses in the U.S. stays in that local community, contributing to keeping that neighborhood thriving. The company is encouraging consumers to visit and click on to a ‘merchant’ link to download tools that will help promote local business.

Goldberg recommends taking a moment to be conscious of small business purchases when shopping this holiday season. 

“If you're buying a gift for the holidays or if you're going to go out to eat and eat at a restaurant, think about the opportunities,” Goldberg says. “There's main streets in every little town in America, but then there's opportunity to shop small with small businesses in New York City alone or LA or Portland. There are so many across the across the country.”

Meghan Fitzgerald is a producer at Yahoo Finance.

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