As the 2022 holiday season kicks into high gear, the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority joins the nationwide effort to inspire communities to shop locally at small businesses on Small Business Saturday — Nov 26. — one of the busiest shopping weekends of the year.
Small Business Saturday, which is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, was founded in 2010 by the American Express Company to highlight small businesses to potential customers during one of the year’s biggest shopping weekends. This movement also encourages individuals across the country to support local small businesses as they continue to contribute towards economic growth. In 2016, the VIEDA joined this movement by becoming a Neighborhood Champion of Small Business Saturday.
“The VIEDA continues to be a proud Neighborhood Champion of Small Business Saturday. And we continue to encourage our community to support our local, small businesses this holiday season and throughout the New Year,” said VIEDA CEO Wayne L. Biggs, Jr. “This is also an opportunity to increase our engagement with our community as we learn more about the various existing small businesses along with the new small businesses that continue to open in our Territory,” added Biggs.
The AMEX SBS Neighborhood Champion Program consists of small businesses, business associates, local Chambers of Commerce and other community organizations that are advocates of Small Business Saturday.
On AMEX Small Business Saturday, small-business owners can showcase and sell unique products and services while they build relationships with new and existing customers. Shopping at local small businesses also allows small-business revenues to circulate within a community.
One significant way the VIEDA is rallying the USVI community to shop local is by hosting “Made in the USVI” pop-up shops across the Territory through its entity, the Enterprise Zone Commission. In its continued partnership with the Virgin Islands Council on the Arts, the EZC will reopen this shop in December 2022 on St. Thomas.
A new survey from Bankrate found 59 percent of holiday shoppers are likely to shop on Small Business Saturday this year, after Black Friday (56 percent) and before Cyber Monday (66 percent).
After its launch in 2010, Small Business Saturday was supported in 2011 by the United States Senate, which unanimously passed a resolution of support for Small Business Saturday.
Former United States President Barack Obama, along with mayors and governors across the U.S., championed the day in 2012. In 2013, individuals and local organizations pledged to join the effort and became Neighborhood Champions of Small Business Saturday.
To learn more about Small Business Saturday, visit www.shopsmall.com.