Black Friday might be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but over the last several years the popularity of Small Business Saturday has been picking up speed.

SIDEBAR:

According to an annual Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey:

• Most consumers are willing to pay slightly more for an item if it is purchased from a small, independently-owned retailer as opposed to online or at a large retailer

• On average, consumers are planning to do more than one-third of their holiday shopping at small businesses

• Almost half of consumers who expect to shop on the day plan to spend more on Small Business Saturday this year than they spent last year

• Almost two-thirds of consumers who plan to shop on Small Business Saturday are motivated by the contributions that small businesses make to their community

The Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Survey was conducted among a nationally representative sample of 1,847 males and females 18 years of age or older. The study was conducted anonymously by independent marketing performance specialist Ebiquity on Oct. 19-27, 2015.

Black Friday might be the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, but over the last several years the popularity of Small Business Saturday has been picking up speed.

Last year, according to the post-holiday survey released by National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) and American Express, 95 million Americans reported shopping at small businesses on Small Business Saturday, and they spent more than $16 billion, an increase of 14 percent from the previous year.

Since 2010, NFIB has been a partner with American Express in a national campaign to promote Small Business Saturday.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, small businesses account for most of the jobs in this country, and small businesses create most of America’s net new jobs.

For many of those small businesses, the four weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas are a crucial period that could determine whether they are profitable for the year.

“Small business represents 99.7 percent of all U.S. employers, and they provide jobs for 58 million Americans,” NFIB/CA State Executive Director Tom Scott said. “For many local retail businesses, the holiday shopping season is a make-or-break time, and Americans who want to support their communities and the economy should remember to shop small.”

There are Shawnee shop owners excited about the opportunity to shine that day; customers need only look.

Rachael Monroe Melot, owner of Wystle, 1725 N. Kickapoo St., said her store is always ready for the chance to serve Shawnee. She said she'll have some special By One, Get One Free deals for Saturday only.

“Check in on Facebook Saturday with the #shopsmall hashtag and you'll get a free gift,” Melot said.

Also, Attitudes Salon, at the same address, will also offer $25 Wystle gift certificates to customers with appointments on Friday or Saturday.

Capt. Jamie Clay, of Salvation Army Shawnee, said, as well as Black Friday deals, its Family Thrift Store, at 330 N. 9th St., will offer tremendous bargain opportunities to help stretch your holiday shopping dollars on Saturday.

“The Salvation Army wants to help the community save money this Holiday season by offering extra deep discounts on major retail sales days,” she said.

Everything (except Christmas items) in the store will be 50 percent off on Saturday, she said.

The store's inventory is continually changing, Clay said, which affords many opportunities to find that special gift.

As an added bonus, shopping at the nonprofit benefits many.

“You can be assured that every time you shop you are helping to support our social services, soup kitchen and shelter,” she said.

Spending locally keeps the community thriving.

“Small Business Saturday has grown every year, and we are very proud to sponsor the promotion,” Scott said. Small Business Saturday is a very important day to recognize small business owners, he said.

“We hope that more Americans participate on Saturday and they keep small businesses in mind throughout the year,” he said.

You can reach Vicky O. Misa at (405) 214-3962.