Everybody knows that the day after Thanksgiving is Black Friday, where discounts (and mayhem) at malls and big-box stores abound, and that a few days later is Cyber Monday, the online extravaganza, during which you get no work done and the Internet breaks. But did you know that there’s an additional shopping day of note in that cluster? One where you can get incredible deals from a number of local businesses? Enter Small Business Saturday, when consumers are encouraged to buy local.
Which businesses are participating in the Capital Region? I’m glad you asked. I tracked down New York Business Development Corporation (NYBDC), an Albany-based lender that helps (local) small businesses gain access to business loans, to help demystify Small Business Saturday for you and identify some of the players involved. NYBDC has been at it since 1955, and it’s invested in myriad local business, including a few tried-and-true Saratoga Springs staples, including Druthers Brewing Company, which also has locations in Schenectady and Albany, and Nurture Green Salon and Spa. They’re both participating in this year’s Small Business Saturday, as well as a number of others. Here’s a handy list: Bard & Baker: Board Game Café (Troy), Black & Blue Steak & Crab (Albany), Crave Burgers and Frozen Yogurt (Albany), The Cuckoo’s Nest (Albany), DinerTime (Latham), MezzaNotte Ristorante (Albany), Pro Image Sports (Albany), Rocco’s on Main St. (Clifton Park) and Warehouse Grill & BBQ (Albany). “It’s hard to find a better example than Saratoga Springs of a city that’s supported by its small businesses,” says Jim Conroy, Regional President, Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, for NYBDC, which has supported all of the above businesses throughout the years. “Throughout Saratoga and the Capital Region, these businesses make our communities unique places to live, work and visit and are significant contributors to job creation and economic growth.”
Small Business Saturday was created in 2010 by American Express to drive more customers to local or small businesses, which in the US are defined as any company with fewer than 100 employees. That includes (believe it or not) 99.7 percent of all US firms and companies, according to the Small Business Association (SBA). Small businesses account for a massive chunk of the national GDP—$4.8 trillion to be exact, or roughly equivalent to the GDP of Japan—and an average of two-thirds of every dollar spent at a small business in the US stays in the local community. Plus, local businesses tend to buy and invest locally as well.
So in that spirit of the holiday season, while you’re out shopping this Saturday—or just looking for to grab a bite during the holiday rush—maybe try hitting up a few small business. I know where I’ll be eating (and shopping) this weekend.