Nearly $20B Spent by Americans this Small Business Saturday

Release Date: 
Wednesday, December 4, 2019
Release Number: 
Jennifer Pilcher || 302-494-0296

American consumers spent $19.6 billion at independent retailers and restaurants on Small Business Saturday®, according to data released yesterday by American Express and the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Data show shoppers from coast to coast made a significant impact at small businesses during the 10th annual Small Business Saturday®, held November 30, 2019.  

Started by American Express in 2010 and co-sponsored by the U.S. Small Business Administration since 2015, Small Business Saturday® continues to provide small businesses and communities across the country with an economic boost to start the holiday shopping season. This year, consumer participation increased by six million (110 million in 2019 vs. 104 million in 2018) and brought an almost $2B increase in total amount spent ($19.6B estimated in 2019 compared to $17.8B in 2018).

“Small Business Saturday’s® success is proof of the economic benefits of shopping small. Seven in ten adults are conscious of the positive impact local small businesses have in their communities,” said the SBA’s acting Mid-Atlantic Regional Administrator Steve Bulger who oversees the federal agency’s operations in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, D.C., Maryland and Delaware.  Bulger also points to findings that 96% of survey respondents who shopped on Small Business Saturday® agree that shopping at small, independently-owned businesses supports their commitment to making purchases that have a positive social, economic and environmental impact.

It celebfates the local, year-round support of our small businesses that helps our local communities thrive.  And that’s important; studies show that for every $100 spent with small businesses, $70 cycles directly back into the local economy, but only $43 of every $100 spent with large, non-local businesses stays local. 

This year, Saturday, November 30, 2019, marks the 10th nationwide celebration of Small Business Saturday, and preparations for the big day are in high gear, across the country and right here, in the First State. And that’s no surprise, given Small Business Saturday’s sizeable positive economic impact. Last year, alone, an estimated 104 million people participated in Small Business Saturday, spending $17 billion at small, locally owned businesses, shops, and restaurants. Those dollars—and their positive local impact on our communities – are definitely something to celebrate!

Meanwhile, many shoppers using smartphones, spent $3.6 billion buying online from small businesses on Small Business Saturday®.  Adobe Analytics, which tracks online sales, says that’s up 18% from a year earlier.  Adobe reported holiday season sales are on track to grow 14.9% from 2018.  Small businesses have already garnered $68.2 billion in online sales from November 1 to November 30.

According to the survey, 97% of consumers who shopped on Small Business Saturday® agree that small businesses are essential to their community and 95% reported the day makes them want to shop or eat at small, independently-owned businesses all year long, not just during the holiday season. The SBA continues to inspire neighbors to make a conscious decision to Shop Small® year-round by recognizing their spending at local merchants and community businesses.

“In Delaware, on Small Business Saturday and throughout the year, SBA and our Resource Partners – the Delaware Small Business Development Center, the Women’s Business Center and SCORE – help small businesses to maximize Small Business Saturday’s positive ripple effect on our economy all season long,” said John Fleming, SBA Delaware Director. “SBA’s Resource Partners prepare for “what’s next,” with small businesses counseling and financing. This holiday season, SBA is especially proud of the Delaware SBDC, winner of a national American Express grant funding the SBDC’s Small-Business-Saturday-related support for Delaware small businesses.  Throughout the holiday season, look for the Delaware SBDC’s folks, along with WBC, SCORE and SBA Delaware Office representatives fanning out across the state, spotlighting the power of supporting small business.”



Cosponsorship Authorization # 19-2050-93. SBA’s participation in this cosponsored activity is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of any cosponsor or other person or entity. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

About the U.S. Small Business Administration

The U.S. Small Business Administration makes the American dream of business ownership a reality. As the only go-to resource and voice for small businesses backed by the strength of the federal government, the SBA empowers entrepreneurs and small business owners with the resources and support they need to start, grow or expand their businesses, or recover from a declared disaster. It delivers services through an extensive network of SBA field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations. To learn more, visit