Small Business Saturday

Small Business Saturday is tomorrow, November 26th and it is becoming a much more popular event and I for one as a small business owner, former Mayor and now a state legislator am happy to see this event building each year.

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help independent businesses with their most pressing need – getting more customers. The single day has grown into a powerful movement and more people are taking part than ever before. According to American Express, an estimated 95 million people went out to shop at small independent businesses on this day in 2015, marking an 8 percent increase from 2014. Additionally, total spending among U.S. consumers who were aware of Small Business Saturday reached $16.2 billion, an increase of 14 percent from $14.3 billion in 2014.

It might surprise you to know that small businesses employ over 50% of our nation’s workforce – pretty impressive if you ask me. It is small business that pays the property taxes (with little if any requests for tax breaks), pays income taxes (no offshore entities to evade taxes), employs residents in our communities and supports the dozens of non-profits in our communities. During my tenure as Mayor I can say that it was a rare moment when I had received a NO from any small business when we needed support for organizations in the city and I am sure that it is a consistent trend in many of our communities.

Yes, small business is an integral part of our economy and our community. Additionally, it is small businesses that provides that personal service that we hear so often is absent with the online and large retailers. That is not to say that online and large retailers do not play a role however it is a concern that we live in a depersonalized society now more than ever and it is personal service that wins the day more often than not. Study after study has shown that for every $1 spent locally impacts an additional $3 spending in our region. Not a bad return on our investment and nothing like staying close to home!

Locally I will be supporting many of our communities and here are few to keep in mind this coming Saturday which is only a smidgen of the activity this Saturday but more importantly all year long:

In Albany the Downtown Albany BID is doing a scavenger hunt from 10-2 on Sat. There are other events at the Albany Center Gallery, The Hollow, and Enchanted Florist, etc. Find more info here:

Also in Albany, the Central Ave BID is hosting a meet and greet for elected and the public and I am looking forward to the kick off at 10:30 at the Central Ave Forest and finishing up an aggressive schedule of 8 visits at 12:30 at the Good Karma Yoga Studio.

Across the river in Troy the Downtown Troy BID is doing a combined Black Friday & Troy Night Out on Friday and is also doing a scavenger hunt for Small Business Saturday. More info follows here:

And back in my hometown of Cohoes we will be having a Dickens Holiday Stoll on Remsen St from 10-5 and yes, Marra’s Pharmacy is participating as well as Cooper & Boston Treats! Check out the Old Mercantile site at for more info.

No shortage of opportunities this coming Saturday! I hope you take some time to enjoy Small Business Saturday this Saturday and every day. Your community is depending on it!