It was gratifying, organizers and participating vendors said, to see area residents turn out for the event. Several noted the public came, in part, thanks to offers of high quality goods at competitive prices. They also praised volunteers of Pottstown FARM (Farm and Artisan Regional Market) and Pottstown Community Arts for staging activities (below and at bottom) that attracted families to the borough.
The local economy, and more broadly that of the nation itself, depends on the continued success of America’s 33 million small businesses, according to federal Small Business Administration (SBA) leader Isabel Casillas Guzman. “Together,” she said, “we can make a difference for the vital small businesses that make our neighborhoods thrive.”
If there’s a take-away to be gained from Small Business Saturday observances across the country, advocates agree it may be this: to ensure the success of independent retailers and service providers, buying locally can’t be limited to just one day each year. It must happen frequently and regularly, they say, not just occasionally, or annually.
In Pottstown and elsewhere, small business owners celebrated “the spirit of entrepreneurship,” Guzman suggested. Their power can “drive holiday shopping locally” and, she proclaimed, they’re growing in numbers. The U.S. “has experienced a historic small business boom” since 2020, SBA statistics indicate, with the submission of 14 million new small business applications.
SBA partner American Express offers similarly buoyant news. It reported Monday (Nov. 27), as part of its Consumer Insights Survey, that this year’s nationwide Small Business Saturday sales level hit the $17 billion-dollar mark. That’s about equal to last year.
The survey also found that, among U.S. consumers aware of the day and its significance:
- 61% strongly agreed they found a small business or independently owned restaurant where they are likely to return and become a regular customer;
- 41% shopped with family, friends or neighbors at a small, independently owned business; and
- 86% of them shopped in-store at local small businesses.
“It’s inspiring to see the enormous enthusiasm communities show as they get out to shop or dine at small businesses,” American Express Chief Marketing Officer Elizabeth Rutledge reported.
A day of fun, too, at Smith Family Plaza
All photos by Travels With The Post